Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vacation, Staycation, Sadcation, Vexcation | Traveler Wife

*Long Post Alert! I was going to break in the 3 posts but I decided I'd spit it out once and for all!*

Yup, this one month that just passed has happened just like the title. I am currently at the BWI airport here just steaming off the last phase of the title (Vex-cation). I bet you are surprised to see a "Traveler Wife" title but I just had to...it represents the trips I take alone; without the man I married.

It all began on June 12th 214 *insert dramatic music here* Mr Punch and I set off to the motherland for the first time together as husband and wife for a two week vacation. Planned to the details, we visited Nigeria first and spent time with my family in Port Harcourt. It was borderline busy for the most part as we had only 7 days to see other family and friends. It was also an experience for us because things were so different to us...I mean Nigeria has changed! And I don't mean for the better. From the unbelievable traffic, to the electricity issue to the bad roads...hello, we really were in Nigeria.

But as much as all those things get under your skin and you feel uncomfortable, somewhere inside of you, you are still happy to be home. Mr Punch was meeting my dad and brother for the first time and I was seeing them for the first time in 3 years...clearly it as a long overdue visit I would cherish for a long time.
Day 1 selfie in Accra. We were on our way to his brother's graduation

7 days later we headed to Accra. After some delay in Lagos with Arik Air (It is apparently a thing for Arik Air to always delay), we finally got to the house. I was knackered but I managed to smile as my husband's family welcomed me,. Accra was fun though, I did not expect us to be all over the city but it was a pleasant surprise to experience Accra. For the first time in 10 years, all of Mr. Punch's family were together in one place. Of course it was awesome to share such a time with this new family of mine :)

And then the days started counting; from walking the streets of Accra, to visiting Mr. Punch's families and friends, to buying roadside food, to visiting the Arts center, Accra mall and more. To say the least, it was a FUN vacation!

Until the last day when we headed to the airport and I was told I could not fly! That is when we entered the "Staycation" mode. You see, I sorta expected it but we just over-hoped it wont be a big deal, but it was. Since I did not have my PR card in hand (kai this Canadian Immigration people can stress people oh!), I needed what is called a travel document. When we made inquiries about this earlier on, we were told 14 business days. We din't have that amount of time so we decided to wing it and still try to fly; worst case scenario, I'd say I'm stopping in New York (since it was a transit point). Well, my worst case scenario still wasn't good enough - they wouldn't let me fly as long as my ticket showed Canada as the final destination. So that day, as we all went to the airport, the same way, we all returned home.

* * * * *

Next day was a Monday, we officially began the process of getting this much needed "travel document". For some reason, Canadian embassy in Ghana is set up in a way that you don't deal with them directly. You go through a Visa Application Center a.k.a Terrible Customer Service Application Center (this is a post for another day!). So we submitted my application on Monday, and decided we re-book Mr. Punch's ticket for the upper Saturday - it seemed okay for him to go back while I stayed. Though it was not what we planned, that extra one week with Mr. Punch was actually great. We explored more, saw more people, ate more food and in generally took it like the extra vacation it was - Staycation.

Then Saturday came and he left. *weeeeeeeps* I was strong until I got in bed to sleep and then I realized Vacation was over, staycation don finish, sadcation/missing my husband just crawled in! Yes, I shed a few tears on that bed - don't judge me, it just reminded me of back then in the long distance marriage. You would think if we survived almost 2 years in different countries, one week is no bigie, but somehow it is. But the next day, I regained my strength, took to my professional blog and kept myself busy while we waited for the embassy to send me my travel document.

Then Mr. Punch got home in Toronto only to tell me my PR card had arrived in the mail. In other words, I did not need that travel document! After a day of figuring out what the next best move was, we concluded that he send the PR card over. But my passport was now with the Canadian embassy so even if my PR card came, I still could not leave. So we had to cancel the application. That in itself was a process because we had to make sure everything was timed well so by the time I got my PR card, I'd have my passport back and I would meet the Monday July 14th date we had re-booked my ticket for.

At this point, timing was everything! The Terrible Customer Service Application Center told me I had to write a letter to the Canadian embassy explaining my reason for canceling my application and send it through them because no one deals with the Canadian embassy directly. Waste of time I did not have! So I did that on Wednesday, same day Mr. Punch fedex-ed my PR card. The set date for arrival of my card was Monday...same day of the ticket. We had no estimate for when I'd get my passport back...all we could do was WAIT! That Thursday, I won't even lie...I was on Anxiety Cloud 9! It was hard to focus on anything so I slept through out most of the day and the rest of it I spent on the computer tracking these 2 important documents that I needed to get back home.

On Friday, a light in the tunnel...my passport was received. I picked it up and celebrated with some fun...I was happy enough to go see a movie and even buy a dress at Accra mall. I was still tracking my fedex package though, and I noticed something odd...it was in Poyle GB for a whole day with no movement. I tried not to freak out but on Saturday, same thing...Sunday, same thing...according to the fedex site, my PR card had still not left Great Britain!

** * * * *

The Vex-cation phase began to crawl in.

"Why would fedex say Monday and the system shows it has not moved in 2 whole days!?"
"Maybe I should just go ahead and sue this fedex people!"
"I'm just tired, I want to go home"
...bla bla bla.

Then we got an idea to call fedex and ask them *duhhhh*...and it was confirmed that is was a glitch in their system! *grinnssssss*, My PR document was in fact in Accra that Sunday! Monday morning we headed to acquire that package sharply...we were good to go...Vexcation mode subsided...this babe got in the plane, enjoyed the flight, transited in New York, headed to Baltimore and then....

All documents received, happy me! Last day in Accra, few hours before my flight to New York-Baltimore-Toronto
Vexcation mode resumed! The re-booking ticket was not done right!!!! Air Canada could not find my ticket from Baltimore to Toronto! See me see wahala o, I did not even know where to begin with the crying. I watched the Air Canada woman close the counter and tell me I would not be on the 10 am flight to Toronto. So I tried to calm down, find internet  and break this news to Mr. Punch. I was advised by Air Canada to go to Delta since they were the airline I left Accra with and the ones who re-booked it. Then it became a scenario where no one wanted to take responsibility, of course it was easier for them to blame the Delta guy in Accra and say there was nothing they could do.

So I am there going back and forth with Mr. Punch on my other few options. Mr Punch called the agency we booked it through and after a while on the phone they found the error...the flight for today was booked in Mr. Punch's name and not mine. Lol...I just had to "Lol" there because of how these silly mistakes blow up. I took this information to the Air Canada lady but she checked and still found no "Mr. Punch" on her 10 am morning flight. But she was kind enough to check even further by pulling out Mr Punch's flight history and finally she cracked something. She printed it out and basically it showed that Delta had tried twice to book Mr. Punch (Mistake #1; it was supposed to be me) on the flight but it never went through (Mistake #2: Why didn't they just say this or ensure it was booked?).

Now we had "evidence", we walked back to the Delta station and presented it to them. Finally they rectified it by re-booking me on the 6 pm flight to Toronto...yes it is 7 hours later but I am just glad I get to go home, see my bed, see my man and resume my life!

How did  it all get to this? *sigh* Na only me waka come????

Accra, Ghana, this is definitely one trip I'd never forget!
PS: This post was written yesterday while I was at the airport. Now I am in my bed, in my house, in my city!! Somborry shout Halleluyaaaaaaah!

11 comments:

  1. Kai, Geeeeee! This is too much. I was even frustrated on your behalf. Glad you made it home safe.

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    1. Loool! I know right. I was like "wth?" the whole time! Being homes feels goooooood! I miss Accra though!

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  2. Deiriz Godoooooo chai! Glad you are back sha, to your bed, to your man, and to resume your life.

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    1. LOL! Yes Diariz God! Hahahhahah!

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  3. Wow!! That's all I can say. That was some serious testing of your patience. Can only imagine your frustration. Glad you're back on Canadian soil, safe & sound, in one piece, and without completely loosing your mind going stir crazy, lol. All's well that ends well :)

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    1. No kidding, Patience seriously tested! I keep wondering how I did, did I pass or fail? *sigh* I am just glad to be home even though I miss the vacation part.

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  4. Chineke! Only you, all this wahala. Thank God you're back safe and sound sha. I would have cried the whole time (what else is new?)

    http://berrydakara.blogspot.com

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    1. Buahhahahah! Mr. Punch kept telling me not to cry. I actually did not really cry..I mean, except the first night after he left but that was just a few tears. So i am really proud of myself...normal me, I would have wept for the extra 2 weeks I stayed. LOl

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  5. Oh my...what an experience! Praise God for a breakthrough and final victory in your story.

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