Thursday, February 26, 2004

intimidating DIMIA

I went in to DIMIA (Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs) today, to bring in two letters. One was from Shelley, my boss, explaining why I should be allowed to work for her for an extra month, and one was from me saying basically the same thing. I am in Australia under a Working Holiday Maker visa, and one of the things this visa stipulates is that I can only work for one employer for a period of three months. It will be 3 months on March 1, and Shelley definitely needs me still, and I definitely still need to work for her. Hence, letting me take the afternoon off to go in myself and see the great grantees of the DIMIA.

I went in yesterday, thinking they would be open regular business hours (foolish me) but of course, Wednesdays after 1:30 they close, how logical. It was raining and cold and I was super-emotional (nothing to do with any certain time of any month, mind you) and nearly started crying. I knocked at the side door and the guard, a young man, looked at me quite sincerely and said "No sorry, you're very pretty but I can't let you in." The other immigrants behind me snorted. He kept repeating himself as I kept asking just to come in, its just some letters I just have to drop off. Really, honestly. "You're very pretty, but no." The Indian guy behind me said softly, "Smile," and I tried to keep the tears from coming. (Women! You'll all snort, but I don't care.)

So I came back in today, which was a sunny day and better, and saw them, and the letters are in their hands and that's all I can do for now. Everything's up in the air again, that's the way it is when you travel. The only thing is that now I'm so used to Sydney life, there are people I don't want to leave, but I should realize that I never intended to stay. My ticket always said May 31, my agenda always was going to include travels, my friends were always going to be left behind, at some point.

I know what I want in my heart but sometimes its hard to remember that. Sometimes the present obscures the future pretty good.

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