Last day of my three days off work. Spent the day with the family, ending with a lovely outdoor dinner in our backyard, having smoked salmon avocado salad and salsa tortilla. Finally finished the scientific history book I was trying to hard to get over, and even strummed a bit on the guitar and played a little of the piano.. Made envelopes out of used calendar pictures.. In a word, spent the day doing many of the varied things I have been meaning to for ages but never got round to. Including this blog, but I have the excuse that the Internet had not been working until this afternoon. Our family spends too much time in front of each one's laptops. So sad.. lol
Did not realise the beehive was so close to the train station. This funny looking building is where the parliament is situated in the capital city of our country, Wellington. To get a student visa to France requires one to go to the embassy in person, to be able to get all the finger prints taken.. It's a hassle but at least it meant I got the chance to take an overnight trip, however expensive.. This was my third trip to the city, and my first wandering by myself. However, it wasn't that hard finding the Station. My good timing meant that it was time off work for everyone, so all I had to do was to follow the crowd. Plus, it was a pretty straight walk from the French embassy, which I'd located first thing I got into town, and the Station building is hard to miss in its grandeur.
Inside the building it's quite modern and spacious.
Out on the platforms the trains are also modern, and the ride was really comfortable, reminded me of those in Europe..
Heaps of people waiting to go home at the end of the day.
I stayed with friends in a little town an hour and a bit train ride from Wellington, in a wine town called Martinborough. Early next morning we took the train again into town. So tired...
Our station was at Featherston. The town is a bit further from this. On the way here we had to wait for two cow crossings. It's the wop wops, unlike what I'm used to :)
Since I got into town way too early for my appointment by about an hour and a half, I waited for a while at Wholly Bagel, this place that M had recommended. Ate half, kept the other for lunch. This was my 2nd breakfast of the day, so wasn't even that hungry to start off with..
I was so nervous about the whole visa appointment. What if I had the wrong documents, and had to come back? I could barely afford this trip! So many documents were required, including:
- signed application form
- another OFII form
- proof of diploma
- proof of acceptance from the host university
- proof of financial ability
- proof of accommodation in France
- proof of insurance
- valid passport
- passport photo
- prepaid courier envelope for the passport to be returned
- cash or cheque for the visa fee
See what I mean by so many required things?!
I would have thought the embassy would be a whole building in its own right, but actually the French embassy is only a two-floored space in a normal business building.
Another friend that is going to Paris with me told me that it'd taken him around an hour. He must have really got that engaged into a conversation, which he actually would have, he's just really talkative like that, but for me it only took 15 mins. I was so well prepared in my stressed state that the process went without problems. They went through everything, tick tick tick, parfait, took my fingerprints, took my portrait (came out looking a bit surprised, I think), took my money (good thing the Kiwi dollar is a bit strong at the moment, it didn't cost as much as I expected), then it was goodbye, really.
Out from the little meeting, I was finally in ecstasy. Even when I was buying the tickets I couldn't let myself be too happy because I was worried about what would happen today. Even though I would have to wait about two more weeks for the visa-stamped passport to be within my hands once again, I couldn't stop grinning foolishly and doing a little dance laughing out loud; of course winning a few funny glances from those walking past, obviously ;p
With all business taken care of but still so much time on my hands until the 4pm flight back home, I decided to make a trip to the national museum of Te Papa.
I like museums; I love looking at the different art works and displays, because I am always amazed and attracted by creative people and their works. I go hoping the creativeness will inspire me in some way. With this mission in mind I swept the whole museum from top to bottom, not kidding, for 4 hours, looking at everything there was to see. Made some notes along the way, and saw a few museum favourites, like Frances Hodgkins' paintings.
By the end I was so hungry, and my legs ached from all the walking. Even though it was windy outside, thankfully it wasn't as cold as the previous day, and I munched throuh my half bagel just outside the museum where there was a nice open space close to the waters.
I have a poster of the world on my wall. On it are mazes of black and red lines, dots and post its of travels I plan on taking. Next to the States and Aussie are the post it notes "2010", and near Europe, "2011-2012".
The first semester of 2010 started with a weekend trip to sunny summer Sydney with my Flatmate of the year. What a great beginning to the new uni year that was. But mid this year I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to carry out the other plans on time.
Life has a funny way of working themselves out, doesn't it. I guess if you really want it, then you will get it.
Sure, I am not going to Tahiti this time round, like I'd wanted to, but I will still get to see my cousins, some of them for the first time in my life, and also old friends that I haven't be able to see in years. How awesome is that; how lucky am I?!!
Oh oh, the counting down begins! Soon (finally) it will be the time to sit my first exams.
First day comes on Saturday, when I will be sitting two exams, in Spanish and Film Studies. I know, two exams on one day! But I have been waiting so long for this day to arrive, so I don't really care.. though I do hope I do well.
Most of the other fellow students have already done, or even finished, theirs, because the actual exams began last week. Sis has already done three, and is studying on her last one on Monday, all the very best!
Gotta get some sun, before getting back to it. My head aches from too much staring at the computer screen..