No Go. That's it people. I will not be going to what may be one of the best bodyboarding events on the 2011 GSS IBA World Tour... The Box Pro. Take my word... I did everything in my power to try to get this very elusive Australian visa. So much so, that everyone at the Australian Embassy (Stephanie, Carol, Ingrid and Emma) all probably want to ring my neck. For the past few days, I've been trying to get them to go that extra mile and help me out. But to no avail. I wasn't rude. I wasn't too pushy. I just wanted to know why I was denied the online visa via ETA (http://www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/visitors.htm).
I got a glimpse of hope when one representatives said that processing can actually be done in one business day. So I got the green light to make this happen. I filled out all the proper forms, took passport photos and even sent in my actual passport to make sure that nothing would get in the way. I called today to make sure everything arrived overnight and then it happened... Carol was the one to give it to me, "I'm sorry Manuel. You will not be recieving your visa today, Monday or Tuesday. These types of applications take up to six weeks to process." As difficult as it was to do, I kept my cool. I just tried to put her in my situation. And for a moment, she understood where I was coming from. But then she came back and kept to her script.
What does all this mean and what did we learn from it? Well, let's see:
-As an American citizen, check all requirements before purchasing your ticket to your destination. If you need certain documents (ie. visas), be sure you have enough time to get that processed. Some visas are free but I suggest that you have your travel agent take care of this for you as soon as you purchase your ticket.
-If you're buying your own ticket online, you are responsible to do this. Do not wait until you get to the boarding gate! Pay that $20 (different countries vary in pricing) to ensure you have it in your hands!
Now what?! I'm not going to be calling the play-by-play shots but that doesn't mean I catch watch! Terry McKenna may be doing the commentating and this guy is a pro. He will get the job done proper.
I just booked a ticket to Hawaii. My wife is doing her first half-marathon in Waikiki next weekend. I was going to miss it because I was supposed to be in Oz. So I'll be in Hawaii during the Box Pro. This is a call out to all my friends on Oahu and the Big Island. Let's organize BBQs, parties or just a place to gather and watch the event together. You know me, it's all about being around people that love the same shit we do. Gooks, I know you can pull off rallying up the crew on the BI crew. Kai or Mason Rose, let's set up a place on Oahu to bring the posse together.
I believe that things happen for a reason. And I wasn't meant to be in Australia, then so be it. That's not going to stop me from being a part of bodyboarding history. So hit me up and let's organize on this side of the camera. Facebook or email me and let's do this.