Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Happy Ending

What started as not-so-funny turned into funny, so I'll share.

Let me preface this by saying that we started the process for clearing Flavius for Japanese customs in December. On December 31st to be exact. We could have started a bit earlier since we already accepted jobs at Canadian Academy, but I have been known to procrastinate a bit and it just felt sooo early. This process consisted of multiple visits to the vet in Peru for multiple vaccinations, sending his blood to the Kansas State Rabies Lab for testing and at least a hundred documents were filled out/signed/faxed/revised. And this whole process in the end cost us over $1,000, I'll leave it at that.

John left this morning with Jon (who has a Japanese license) and Todd (who can speak Japanese) to the Kansai Airport in Osaka, about an hour's drive. I reviewed all the paperwork with him that morning, since I had multiple copies of everything. We hoped Flavius would come home today, but weren't feeling super confident, since we had to leave some last minute things (10-day travel check-up, purchase cargo ticket, Peruvian governmental stamp) with Moving Systems, the shipping company we contracted who has not been real competent. This including an "urgente" email I got from them, our friend, and our old maid (on Thursday) who told us that Moving Systems had to buy a new animal crate because ours was too small (it was the size I checked online @ KLM and double checked with the vet) and we had to pay for more cargo space. So they wanted (and frankly, still want) us to wire $500 to them.

About an hour after John left, I sent him a text:
ME: How's it going?
JOHN: I brought the wrong passport.
My blood pressure rises and heart starts pounding.
ME: Seriously?
John is with our "funny" friends who are known for their antics.
JOHN: Yep.
ME: I hope we didn't waste J & T's time today.
I know this wasn't the most supportive thing to say, but I was ticked off. If the cat wasn't coming home with us today, it was going to be the shipping company's fault, NOT OURS!
ME: I can take a picture of it and send it, if you need. Where are they?
JOHN: In the closet in our travel docs bag.

I go and check it out and pull his out. MAXIMO'S WAS GONE! And come to find out later, he actually handed it over to the security checkpoint guy who wasn't sure what was going on and then tried to politely figure out why a grown man was giving a passport of a baby.

So, I waited for more news, when John called:
"Jule, Jon's come up with a plan that might work. Give my passport to Celia, she can bring it to the Sheraton hotel where the shuttle leaves for the airport at 11:18 and we'll wait for it here (It was 10:58 am)."
I run upstairs (Max was napping) relay the message quickly to Celia and then take Denis down to our apartment to watch him while she quickly goes to the hotel.

She ran into a bit of a problem there, not being able to convince the driver to bring the passport and it being too late for her to purchase her own ticket on the bus to hand-deliver it herself. Luckily at that moment (her) Jon called to say they thought they could do everything with John's US license.

Three hours later, Flavius was roaming around our apartment, checking it out, looking healthy and better than we did after our long flight. He's now eaten a bit and had a little to drink, though we don't think he's used the loo yet, so hopefully he'll choose to use the litterbox.

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