Maria in NYC Music Project – Day 52

So today was an interesting and mostly tiring day. My sleeping schedule has been quite on the fritz, so I was up all night anyways, and this morning, as I was deciding to go to sleep and curled up snuggled tight under the blankets, I was pummeled by emails and cell phone calls. Granted, one of the calls was from a wrong number, and there wasn’t too much to be done about the emails (they were administrative stuff for the IFC regarding the celebrity they want to attend their Gala), it roused me, enough to decide fine, I’ll be productive still. So I pushed off the comforts of sleep and instead embraced the semi-crankiness of half wakefulness.

First thing I did was sort out the administrative stuff for the IFC. We finally have all the necessary documents that she had requested, in Chinese, and I was to send them off to her and make sure she got them. There’s a document introducing the IFC, what we’ve done, what we stand for, etc., another that introduces our Gala event, the Gala flyer, another one that I have no idea what it is because it was all in Chinese in the first place, and the actual outline of the Gala evening and what we’d like our celebrity to do. I had drafted the email, in Chinese no less, to send, earlier this weekend, and off it finally went. I do hope my Chinese was alright. I spent a good deal of time with it, back and forth between it and the dictionary. I think I managed to craft a masterful email in a language I have no command over whatsoever, at least in a literate sense. Interesting enough, after I sent the email out, I called her cell phone just to let her know what she wanted was in her email, and instead of getting her I got pushed over to this massively long recorded message in very fast Chinese and very poor English stating that the person I called had switched to using a “personal secretary” service. So voicemail’s not very common in China, this must be the solution. I got transferred over to a very fast talking Chinese lady again who asked me who I was, what business I had, what message I wanted to leave, and etc. Quite a surreal experience. They talk so fast. I got a rather cryptic text from our celebrity a little while later, just saying “ok.” I wonder what that means. “Ok” she got everything, or “Ok” she’s coming and attending, or “Ok” for some other reason? I’ll follow up again tomorrow during the day on the phone, and hopefully get more than the odd “personal secretary” service. We’re running out of time on this, and we need a marketing push once she’s on board, and there are innumerable other details to mesh out including face to face meetings between all parties involved obviously, and if nothing else phone conversations between she and Nick and other IFC members. Ah so much to do.

Next I sorted some things out with my diploma. Obviously, despite looking in 3 different apartments, no one knows where my in country diploma is, so I drew up the document I’d need to sign requesting a 2nd copy from SLC, wrote out a check for twice the actual cost because of shipping, and called DHL to come and pick it up from me here in China for shipping. As I said before, DHL in China is great .They’re fast, speak English, and will pick up the package from you. It’s saved in my phone now, now that I’ve done the entire process through once on my own, so I should be able to in the future navigate whatever mailing needs we may have. Fancy me even opted to not speak English, though I think they would have understood. Their English isn’t that great anyways. You know what’s great though? There’s a Chinese name for “Bronxville”!!!!! 布朗克斯 (Bùlǎng kè sī), it’s phonetic. And “Yonkers”!!!! 扬克斯 (Yáng kè sī), again phonetic. The DHL people were clarifying which city to send it to as SLC’s zip code can be either, but they prefer Bronxville. As I mentioned earlier, the cost of this process is almost prohibitive. I spent 250RMB (35USD or so) to mail my request and check of 105USD to SLC to cover the 50USD diploma and 55USD Fedex shipping cost to get it back to me. Man I wish we could’ve just found the one that’s in this country already, but no losing hope, we still might, in which case it’s just I guess convenient to have a backup just in case.

Also related to my diploma is my visa, the in country extension. People came over and grabbed my passport, residency permit, and bunch of photos to take to the visa processing place down the road not too far from here. I also signed maybe half a dozen documents, all in Chinese, whose contents I do not fully know. 4 were duplicates, just the same form over and over, 2 were an offer letter I think for the company I’m “working” for, the rest, who knows. Since this was taken from me to where it will be processed, and incidentally we might be processing them under the pretense that my grandfather is ill (whatchagonna do eh?), and since I’ve not heard about there being any issues, I’m going to assume there haven’t been any and that I am now the proud recipient of a if I’m lucky 90 day tourist visa, and if I’m horribly unlucky, 30 day tourist visa. Either way, luck be it or not, it should be enough time for my diploma to get back into this country, me to get my health certificate, and to process and push through my actual work visa.

I discovered that part of the delay in getting my work visa was due to probably too many cooks in the kitchen. My father had wanted to do it one way, that failed, and he was going to continue another way when my former bosses at the restaurant decided they wanted to do it yet another way, and that obviously fell through, and everything just stalled. I guess it’s once instance where too many irons in the fire really may have caused more trouble then they’re worth. Now though, apparently we’re on track again. I just need my diploma and health certificate.

I also have a job interview tomorrow, way the heck out of town in the middle of the Western neighborhood of Shunyi at the International School of Beijing. It’s for an ICT position (which is the same as IT but in UK-Speak), and unfortunately may only be a temporary position, lasting 2 to 3 weeks. I’m a little short on the details, and the original posting I replied to was for a full time position, so I guess I’ll find out more tomorrow. Granted it’s a long way to trek for only a possible something, but I’m gonna do it anyways just to see, just in case. I’m also supposedly going to a meeting tomorrow evening regarding the IFC Children’s and Youth Choirs, but this was a meeting I wasn’t formally invited to, just casually when someone said “so I’ll see you Thursday evening right?” and I responded, um…k…?

I spoke to my father a bit on other issues, mostly on the difficulties of getting things process. He also said he’ll be able to pay me soon, whatever soon means. I also tried to get in touch with one of my freelance clients for further work because we had discussed additional work but no details were passed along. No real luck there either. Oh, and my site was down for a good couple of hours! Generic 500 error, spent an hour on the phone on hold just to get brushed off to their electronic ticketing system. Pain in the ass, but it was resolved, though I don’t know what the problem was or the resolution.

And 4 short hours ago, I finally managed to get to sleep, and slept very fitfully being at times cold and at times hot, and woke to my alarm of all things because I had songs to record, emails to send, and blog entries to write for my Maria, who is coming back VERY soon.

Today’s song is “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.

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