Thursday, December 28, 2006

My days have been jammed with stuff to do since I got home from Montreal. I decided to take a break from all my Spain work for a week, and apparently, that was a fairly bad idea. I am consequently dealing with lots of rushing and stressing and general freaking out. The Spanish Consulate wants more documents than I'm ready to give them right now, which is bad because without their help, I can't stay in the country for long enough to go to school and get credit for it. Of course they want a passport and photos and letters from the university, financial statements, insurance coverage and proof of accommodation, a police check, flight reservations and a doctor's note in addition to fee payments, a personal visit and three photocopoies of the application. Of course. But what gets me is this:

Letter from your Family Physician indicating the following:
- Absence of quarantine diseases including cholera, plague and yellow fever, according to the regulations of the World Health Organization.
- Absence of contagious, parasitic and infectious diseases.
- No psychological disorders, mental illnesses, psychosis, delirium or hallucinations.
- No addictions to drugs.


Cholera? Yellow fever? THE PLAGUE?! Do I look like I'm from the 14th century? And to tell you the truth, every now and then I think that maybe this process will get easier as I go along, but so far it seems that maybe I'm just DELIRIOUS.

This is the big problem: I don't have a family doctor. My old one closed his practice a number of years ago and I've just been hopping from walk-in clinic to walk-in clinic ever since. Health Services at my university never got back to me about writing me a letter and every place I've called in town refuses to do it. I've got one more shot with the doctor my dad's been seeing for a while. If he doesn't write it for me, it looks like I'm going to need to beg my orthodontist. Maybe he can extrapolate my dental health to include the rest of my body.

My frustration got so bad that at one point last week I was *this* close to going to Australia instead ("Dammit, at least they speak English there!"). After a long distance phone call to a very calm friend, I decided against Australia and then worried about credits and transfers and the timing of my future plans instead. I spent about an hour creating a table to track all the courses I've taken and all the credits I've earned during my three and a half years at school and I was able to conclude that "Yes, I can graduate after all!" and that no more extra semesters are necessary - THANK GOODNESS. I took a breath, then called a couple banks, a handful of health institutions, learned lots about overseas health insurance, looked up a dozen or so more phone numbers and adresses and either called or planned to visit them all within the next day. Phew. See? Packed. But I forgot to call the Consulate, again. Maybe it's because THEY'RE MEAN PEOPLE and my brain is in self-preservation mode so it keeps me from calling and having to speak to them.

Aaaannd then I booked a flight to London. Oh, what? I needed a break.

So! It's happening, it's all really happening! I'm flying out a bit later than I wanted to, but the price was so low that I couldn't pass it up. It also gives me more time with the fam and to prep myself here - in the end I'm still getting a full week and half to bum around London, Liverpool, Brighton and then some. (Suggestions from anyone? Email me!) I just spent the night researching hostels (the penny-pincher in me found one for 8 GBP per night!) and things to do in and around the city. Sooo much. My itinerary is going to be sooo paaacked.

Speaking of packing, I've already started a mental list of Things To Bring in my head, separating what goes into my suitcase and what will go into my brand-spanking new large capacity convertible travel pack (mine is actually the 60 litre Elle cut because my little body and brittle-calcium-deprived bones would be crushed under the weight of a 70 litre regular). travel paaaack.

THEN! I'm flying to Espana in early February where I'll get five days to settle in before classes start. w00t! Five days ago I would have said that I leave in a month. Now it's five days later and I'm all AHHH!! I'm going to London! And then SPAIN!!

PS: Not to rub it in anymore than I already have, but my brain is totally paaaaacked with neat little details such as: my apartment in Spain is in the city center within walking/bussing distance between the university and the coast of the Mediterranean! Beach! Beach beach beach beach beach.