Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We spent all day yesterday doing the bureaucratic shuffle. We applied for our Australian Visa’s online and were conditionally accepted. BUT to be totally approved we had to provide the Aus. Gov’t with proof that we could finance ourselves while we were visiting their county, God forbid that they let any indigents in! So they wanted a copy of our bank statement showing our income, it couldn’t be off the internet I guess that would be too convenient for us poor slobs that want to visit. It had to be an original bank statement. Well I guess if we actually received bank statements anymore that would have been easy, but we do all our banking online these days, so what can we do. Well we have a wonderful contact at our bank in Yellowknife, we’ll just contact her and Bob’s your Uncle she can fix us up.
WELL, Brenda is on holidays, she won’t be back for 2 weeks, that’s allowed people do go on holidays, we contact her replacement. Could she possibly get us a copy of our bank statement. Oh no, that would not be possible, she does not have access to our account, only Brenda, so we wait, the Aus gov’t is waiting, 2 weeks are up. We finally get a hold of Brenda, who is relaxed and rested and ready to tackle our problem. Well, no, she says she can’t e-mail us a PDF copy of our statement that the Aus gov’t requires, the bank is not set up to do that. What she can do is fax us a copy, but we have to be at the other end of the fax line when she faxes us. So now we are in the middle of sailing from one place to another, faxes are hard to come by when you are surrounded 360 degrees by water. A week later after we have slowly sailed several hundred miles we finally arrange a time and a place and a fax number, the Aus gov’t is waiting. We call Brenda on our trusty satellite phone to let her know that we will be there at the end of the fax line, to comply with Canadian banking privacy laws to get OUR information. Okay, good Brenda faxes, we receive, we have our bank statement. Now we need to fax it to the Aus. Government. We have the fax number and we ask the girl at the marina office in Fiji to fax it, off it goes, relief, but no wait, it didn’t go through, shit, try again, and again and again, it won’t go through.
We go back to the boat, we check online to make sure we have the correct number, it’s right. I drag out our printer, scanner, copier from the very back of the boat behind the medical kit, the ditch bag, the life jackets and the cockpit table, and scan in all the pages Brenda from Yellowknife has sent us. Barry tries to access our online Aus visa application so we can send them the documents online, he can’t access his application, his password won’t work. We head back to the marina and try a different office to fax the info, after several tries the girl says that it had worked, we pay $7 for the first page and $1 a page after that, mission accomplished, but no, there is no confirmation that is actually worked, the Aus gov’t is waiting.
Barry is not satisfied so we head down to the post office where he sends the information away , FIRST CLASS, this cost $35 dollars, it is now 3 P.M, we got the fax from Brenda at 9 AM. We have spent all day doing the bureaucratic shuffle and we still do not know if the Aus Gov’t will accept our letter that we posted, online that was not one of the options of how you could submit your information. Perhaps the fax went through, perhaps tomorrow the internet will work well enough to attach the documents and we could send them online if Barry remembers his password, I must not have listened very well when they were teaching the bureaucratic shuffle, I don’t think I am very good at it.