Bad Omens?

Nadi Travel Blog

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I get off the plane in LAX and first I have to go outside, walk down the sidewalk to the International terminal and find the right area to check in, which was a bit of a hassle, because do you think the Air Pacific check in is where the entrance sign is? No of course not. But I finally find it and get in line for the in-transit passengers, with no luggage to check. I get to the front, walk up to the clerk and hand her my passport. She glances at it then starts typing on the computer. She seems puzzled and continues to punch buttons for a good 10-15 minutes while I wait there patiently, then she leans to me and says, “Do you have a visa?” Which of course I did. I had obtained my 1 year work visa on January 9, 2009 from the embassy in Washington DC. The visa in my passport clearly states that I have 3 months from issue to enter the country, i.e., April 9, 2009. I show the clerk my visa in the passport and point out the dates. She does some more stuff in the computer and says that it is not showing up in the system and she has to go call Sydney. So I wait for another 15-20 minutes. Then she comes back and says that my visa expired April 9, 2009, which means some joe blow messed up putting something into the computer when I was issued my visa. The clerk explained to the person on the phone that the visa clearly stated I had 3 months from Jan 9, 2009, but unfortunately the Air Pacific clerk in LAX couldn’t do anything about it. Here I am, FREAKING out thinking, they’re not gonna let me board and I’m gonna be stuck in LA,while my luggage goes to Sydney (because it had been checked all the through when I checked in at Dulles). She tells me I can do an electronic visitor visa, that will cost $25 dollars and be good for 3 months and when I get there I will have to reapply for my work visa. One problem, I can’t be in Australia when I apply for this visa, I would have to leave the country, get the visa, then return. I wouldn’t have to go to the US, I think New Zealand or something would work. But point is, someone messed up, so I say fine, give me the new visa, just get me on that plane. So then I wait another 10-15 while they do this other visa application and all the while I’m thinking, my plane is starting to board now, and I am still at the check in, haven’t even gone through security yet! Finally they get the new visa so my boarding pass can print out. Then I wait for a printout to verify the new visa. I never did end up getting charged the $25 dollars, and when the woman came back with the printout of the electronic visa, which has an expiration date of March, 2010. So I guess I could stay 12 months with this? I’m not really sure, at any rate, I can’t work with it. So when I get to Australia, I guess I have to call the US consulate/embassy and try and get this straightened out. I mean, I did nothing wrong, someone in DC messed up, IMAGINE THAT! Someone is going to get yelled at, heads are going to roll and I am not going to pay again for this damn visa! Needless to say I am pissed and hope this isn’t a bad omen to start off this trip. Oh and by the time I got through security, I barely made my flight to Fiji, but I did make it, thank goodness!

Well, I’m off to wait my 3 hours in the non-air-conditioned airport in Nadi. Two words, sweltering and humid.
DCBackpacker says:
Hope it works out w/the work permit...I'm sure it will..
Posted on: Mar 28, 2009
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Layover #3
Nadi, Fiji (Let’s just say I am lucky to even be here)
6:01 am Saturday morning local time (Fijian Time) 2:00 pm EST (Friday afternoon)
Hours spent in transit so far:
2 hours flight from DC to St. Louis
3 hour layover in St. Louis
4 hour flight St. Louis to Los Angeles
2 hour layover in Los Angeles (although this went by much quicker than expected, see above)
10.5 hour flight LAX to Nadi, Fiji
4 hour layover in Nadi, Fiji

So let’s start with my flight from St. Louis to LAX. It was pleasant enough. I sat next to a cute little 2nd grader named AnnElise. Man, she could definitely talk an ear off. Very smart though and quite charming. She even drew me a picture! The movie to watch on the overhead televisions was, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. It was eh, I didn’t much care for it. It didn’t seem to make too much sense to me. Perhaps because I was on a plane and tired and somewhat out of it. Plus Keanu Reeves, I’m sorry, but he is just a bad actor. He plays the same character, same emotions (a lack thereof) in all the movies he’s in. So anyway, we land in LAX and here’s where the real fun begins… I’m going to do this in a separate blog post and entitle it…”Bad Omens”
photo by: SheLuvz2Fly