My new (replacement) agent did finally reply to my emails with the proper info, as well as an apology for the misunderstanding. I am indeed ready to embark from BC to Shanghai on November 10th, and from Shanghai to BC on January 26th. Extension of my trip is now an official success, after clarifying that I didn’t want to come home on January 12th as we previously planned (when I thought my trip into Asia would be shorter and thus cut less into my tourist time in Japan).
I need one more small piece of information to apply for the visa, but even without it, I think it should be okay tomorrow. What’s not okay is some new disclosure about medical certificates.
Remember that coveted doctor’s note I needed and finally obtained? The form is only valid up to 14 days before embarkation. We had about 18 days, but the shipping company gave it a pass and said they’d accept it anyway. However, they said I would later need a second note before embarking in Shanghai to travel home!
In theory they said I cold just ask my doctor to sign the exact same form with a new date on it. Um, that would probably be illegal, as my doc said she had to see me in person to be able to sign that form. She took my vitals and did a very quick physical evaluation. She would never agree to do what the shipping company is suggesting. It would suggest lying, forging, or altering the truth wouldn’t it? To approve me for sea travel without even seeing me?
And so, I will research how to find travel health clinics, or something similar in both Shanghai and Japan. I’d feel safer going to a Japanese doctor because I can communicate better in Japanese, and I have friends and acquaintances who might be able to come to the appointment to help translate.
In China, I’d be on my own, with much less time to arrange something. I’m sure there must be a way, but it might be complicated. Any pointers, send ’em my way! In the meantime, I’ll be scouring the Internet for info about foreign patients, English-speaking clinics, Canadian consulate people who may have some suggestions, etc. I conveniently also have a friend who agreed to translate my doctor’s completed form into Chinese. At a later date, I can ask various friends to do the same for an accurate English to Japanese translation.
But HEY people, I’m going to Japan in SEVEN DAYS! Of course, the ship is not paid for yet, visa is not made, and anything can go wrong from now until next Monday. But as far as I’m concerned, the worst of the planning mess has passed. I’ll now be able to sit still, quell the daily migraines I’ve been having, and book the rest of my itinerary with peace of mind!
This picture was supposed to appear on my blog a week or so ago, but my attitude changed from Zen frog to Grouchy tadpole in a matter of one week. I think I can finally return to my former state tonight. I’m currently sitting in my favorite coffee shop with my laptop, happily typing away. Once I post this, it’s off to Trivago, Expedia, Airbnb and Greyhound to complete my bookings.
I am now a less frazzled froggie.