In preparation to leave the country I taught myself a lesson, or at least I did something I should learn from.
Let me give a run down:
I have a New Zealand passport, so to move to and work in the UK I need a visa. They are simple enough to arrange, all you need to do is send forms and your passport to a processing centre in Manila (which should have been a warning sign given my history of working with Manila), then wait for the visa to be returned to you. So I sent the forms away and started playing the waiting game (which sucks by the way, I should have played hungry hungry hippos).
I did this a roughly a month before the date I had purchased flights for. No worries, friends of mine had done the same thing recently and had their visas returned in 10 days, so I had plenty of time.
The next few weeks were pretty busy, as I have written about previously. Not only did I have to not go to work, I had to pack and move, and also get drunk quite a few times (leaving dinners etc are rough). It was hard times.
Before I knew it I was at a family 21st and there was only a week before I was due to fly. Unfortunately I still didn't have my passport back, and I hadn't heard anything at all about it.
See, I hadn't thought much about it until that point, but with a week that was largely free time it was hard not to worry a bit. Still, I had two more dinners and this became a fine joke to tell, was I leaving the country? Who knew!
The the day before the flight arrived and I still hadn't heard anything at all, at that point I was getting a little desperate - I even went to the British Consulate to see if anyone there had any answers. Everyone involved knew nothing at all. No one could even tell me what country my passport was in. It wasn't pleasant, but I made the tough decision to change my flights, my girlfriend could go over by herself, with me to meet her later (hopefully?). Unfortunately even that I couldn't quite do right away - hey, I could just do it on the morning of the flight, I had people to see and a concert to go to (Arctic Monkeys, review here).
Then that evening, just as people arrived to go to the concert , I received a call. The courier company had found my passport, but they had to close in half an hour, so I had to get across town at 530 on a Friday to collect it or wait till Monday (two days after my flight) - the race was on (admittedly a terrible race, but a race none the less).
At this point it probably isn't a surprise I got there with 5 minutes to spare, and got back in time for the concert too.
So, what was the lesson I was learning?
I think that everything always works out, and, it's best to time things perfectly to avoid any excess or wastage. Just like I did
(Or the lesson is the exact opposite of that, I don't know?)
But here I am writing this from 35,000 feet up, in the middle of the Pacific, half way to Vegas and a month in the states, So maybe I just have a positive outlook right now.