So here we are, just a day and a half more before my scheduled flight to Taipei. You know my struggles, and you’re about to read more.
The good news is, I have my passport! The bad news is, i had to let go of and will (still) soon shell out a few more bucks for: 1. having my passport shipped from Manila to Cebu via express shipping; 2. my return ticket from Taipei to Cebu; 3. shipping my passport from Cebu back to Manila.
So much for my future “Taipei on a Budget” blog post.
One of the reasons I booked that ticket to Taipei in the first place was because I thought it was relatively cheap, considering that I saw it so near to my desired day of flight. No point in dwelling on that now though; as my mom said, “what’s the point of money if you can’t enjoy it?” uhm. to use it to survive this cruel and corrupt world, for one? But I saw her point and – seeing that I am pushing through with this trip – I loved it.
Let’s backtrack a bit to Monday, April 3. I took a call from the person in-charge of submitting our Japan visa applications to a travel agency in manila, which was, in turn, responsible for submitting said docs to the Embassy of Japan. I was told that someone in the group, whom I don’t know, was lacking a few documents so our passports might not be released to us within that week yet. I thought, I guess I could reschedule my flight. So, without thinking it through, that’s what I told him. But! I had hope. I had hope that I’d still receive my passport before the day of my flight. See, I’m doing this thing called “thinking positive to attract positive,” and because of this I was feeling good about the situation for two days. I was so sure that I’d get my passport back, with another Japan visa meticulously attached inside, right before April 12. I was so wrong.
There was a misunderstanding. I was so optimistic because I thought that my application had already been submitted to the Embassy and was ready for release. Apparently, the entire group’s passports were still with the travel agency; not even reviewed by the Embassy yet. I found out about this on April 5. I panicked. After much consideration, I DID NOT WANT TO RESCHEDULE. I get so much complaints from my mom whenever I travel during work days; this was my chance to leave without having to worry about missing work.
I called so many numbers to ask what I could do with my situation. Thankfully, the travel agent I last talked to was nice enough to assure me that he would send me back my passport, hold my application, wait for the passport once I get back from my trip, and submit my papers to the Embassy. I only had to pay 200 PHP for the MNL-CEB shipment (and probably another 200 for sending it back to Manila).
That’s what I did, and now I have my passport minus 200 PHP.
Since I was already assured that I would get my passport back, the next thing to do was to book my flight from TPE to CEB. Remember in my previous post, when I said that the ticket that I was eyeing went down to 2,000+ Taiwan dollars? Let’s say it was at 2,840 TWD, I would have bought it at 4,970 PHP but I didn’t, because I couldn’t stand wasting 4,000+ PHP without knowing if I’d be able to fly. I am the definition of smart because the ticket went up to 4,238 TWD, which is roughly 7,416.50 TWD. That’s how much I charged my credit card with. This one; I can’t let go.
I really should have bought that cheaper ticket, and left it all to fate, immediately after I saw it. But no. I. Had. To. Make. Sure. Such are the risks that come with not being carefree enough.
In conclusion, I am with a passport, an itinerary, a plane ticket. I am also without 11,846.50 PHP total (round trip tickets from CEB-TPE, and shipping fees), in my wallet, just so I could be in another country by April 12. As one great and anonymous poet once said, “the struggle is real.”