(…I’m an Irish girl in Daejeonnnnnn…)
Well, thanks to all the lovely people who wrote me sweet emails and comments offering advice following yesterday’s post. You helped me. No decision has been made yet, but I’m thinking more clearly. I’ll keep you posted! Of course, following today’s developments, I may actually have been deported before I get as far as deciding one way or the other, which would probably be one of those “signs” that I’m always on the lookout for.
I went to the doctor this afternoon about my chest infection, which has me coughing so much that I’m fairly certain I’ve developed tiny little new muscles in my abdomen. It hurts like the day after 100 sit-ups. Unfortunately, me being me, I had left my alien registration card (ARC) in my wallet, which I had in turn left at a friend’s place in another part of the city. This card is needed for proof of just about everything right down to your very existence, including your medical insurance. Fortunately, my helpful director was able to look up her photocopy of it in my immigration file, and the doctor was happy to just use the number without seeing the card.
So everything was fine, except that when I got back to school with my seven zillion packets of pills and potions, I found that the director was running around like a headless chicken. “Hayley!!!” she almost shrieked, waving the aforementioned immigration file in my face, “Didn’t you know your visa expired in the middle of last month?!!!!”
Clearly I did not. This is what happens when you start out on an 18-month contract when your visa only lasts for a year, you see. Your visa runs out 6 months before your contract. It’s really not all that complicated, to be honest, but those of you who know me will be shaking your heads in sad but accepting understanding. There is no way on earth I’m ever going to remember something like that.
“We need to go to the immigration office RIGHT NOW!!!” Jennifer was screaming, flapping her arms around with admirable energy for a chicken with no head.
“But I don’t have my ARC,” I explained mildly.
“We will call at your apartment to pick it up,” she said, practically pushing me out into the street.
“But my ARC isn’t at my apartment, it’s in Nouen,” I added innocently.
Jennifer looked as if she wanted to strangle me. I’m guessing she’s not too thrilled about the idea of having an illegal (and somewhat scatterbrained) immigrant working in her school. “What – why – in NOUEN?!” she exploded, whacking me around the head with my own immigration file.
“I’m getting it back tonight! I’ll bring it tomorrow!” I howled, backing away with my hands up. Foreign countries are scary sometimes, especially when your boss is quite literally trying to kill you with paperwork.
Now I have to give up my Friday evening to go to the immigration office, where they may do anything from yelling at me in Korean, to slinging me into a jail cell, to deporting me*. That would pretty much resolve the dilemma in the previous post, mind you.
Woe is me. And I’m still bloody coughing.
*In actual fact, what they will most likely do is fine me, fine me, fine me until I cry like a little baby. It’s just not a dramatic enough way to finish my story, that’s all. ;)