I like CTRL

I admit that yesterday’s post was probably a little over the top and revealed my control freak tendencies. But, it did yield results! I got responses from almost everyone I talked to yesterday, and I even found some good news regarding flights.

I woke up this morning to my first ever response from my host in Manaus, whom I had tried to email more than once before. I was pretty relieved to hear from her; after all, it’s pretty risky to head into the jungle on your own without any reassurance that there’s someone waiting on the other end to receive you! Fortunately she wrote that they (she and the school, I’d imagine) are eager to meet me. She also said that I am supposed to be going to Rio Branco, but that I’ll go to Manaus first. She said, “Do not worry about your trip will be great, you will like to know Manaus.” I wasn’t worried about Manaus, I was worried about Rio Branco! It looks like I’ll just have to go along with it, because I’m not getting a straight answer. I’m still working on relaxing my control freak ways, and I think Brazil will pretty much squash them out of me with its laissez-faire attitude.

A little bit later, I got a response from my college professor. I’d had this nagging feeling ever since I’d sent her the email that she wouldn’t want to do it, or wouldn’t be able to. After all, it’s summer vacation; what if she was away? She’s Greek; what if she’d gone to Greece for the summer? But as it turns out, she’s in Toronto, and has no problem signing my paperwork! I actually did a little dance. I had thought this would be my biggest hurdle, but it’s thankfully not an issue. Now all I need is my criminal record check, and I can take my paperwork to Toronto for the last set of signatures, and on to the Consulate. Apparently I have a better chance of expediting the visa process if I bring it there in person, which means I could actually be flying out in late July or early August.

Which brings me to the last bit of good news: I found the cheapest flight ever! I’ve been tracking flight prices for the last six months or so pretty religiously, and with the research in mind had estimated around $1600-$2000 for a return airfare. Then, last night I found an article in the Globe and Mail’s finance section that gave tips on getting cheap flights. It recommended a few sites that give out up-to-date promo codes. While perusing these sites, I came across an online travel booking service I’d never heard of before, STA Travel. Intrigued, I looked them up.

As it turns out, they’re a travel agency geared towards students, under 26es, and teachers – perfect for me. I plugged in some estimated travel dates and locations, and was astonished to see a quote literally half of some of the better deals I’d seen before, return, and taxes and fees included! I called this afternoon to make sure they are legit, and to ask if it would be possible to change the return flight because I’d be booking it so far in advance. They definitely checked out, and even if I have to pay some hefty fees for rebooking (like $300), the total cost would still come in well under budget.

Now, to get my affairs completely in order so I can book this awesome deal! I’m thinking I’ll wait and see what happens tomorrow regarding the criminal record check. If it’s ready for pickup between now and Monday, I can get to Toronto without problems and get the visa going, which means I could probably pre-emptively book my flight! Woo, it looks like this crazy adventure may actually happen after all!

Finally, this image should have appeared at the head of yesterday’s post:

*Note: The term "order" should only be applied to me insofar as I organize my life; it should in no way be associated with my daily lifestyle, which is more appropriately termed "chaos."

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4 Comments

Filed under Brazil, crazy like a fox, IICA internship, mail, overcoming fear, red tape

4 responses to “I like CTRL

  1. Breanna

    Make it early August or later!!! I need to see you before we’re both off this rock for a year!!!

  2. shadowcat17

    “I’m still working on relaxing my control freak ways, and I think Brazil will pretty much squash them out of me with its laissez-faire attitude.”

    Yes, it will – not always a pleasant process! What usually happens is this: you’ll face a lot of headaches like the one you described with your visa documents. Things that should be simple or efficient somehow end up delayed, screwed up, or way more complicated than necessary.

    Recent small example – a purchase that in the U.S. would’ve taken me 15 minutes via internet and credit card, instead took me 3 hours as I had to take a bus 45 minutes to visit the office personally, spend an hour negotiating the price down 30%, and then take the bus back (and hit inexplicable traffic).

    When faced with such illogicalness, you’ll realize you have two choices: 1) you can freak out and take action; or 2) you can bypass all the emotional distress and take action. Sometimes your action will not yield results and feels like hitting your head against the wall. BUT – if you can learn what the Brazilians call “jogo de cintura” – that is, creatively managing to get around obstacles in an indirect way that gets you to your goal while keeping your cool – you’ll be in good shape B-)

  3. Yeah!! So glad it’s working out and you’ll be in lovely Manaus soon.

  4. Pingback: Nothing Worthwhile is Ever Easy | Same Boat, Different Ocean

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