Just when you thought you could breathe a sigh of relief...

...life throws another curve ball at you, and then sticks a rusty knife in your ribs while you lie winded on the ground. I love being Malaysian and all, but this passport and visa business is making me sooooooo.....frustrated.

Some might remember the big hoo-ha last year, and the hoops I had to jump through to get a visa to enter Panama to take the Smithsonian sponge course. Next year, I vowed to myself then, next year would be different. Fast forward to this year, with me feeling pretty confident, having submitted my visa application in February, giving the consulate 3 months to approve my visa this time. Was overjoyed to see my return envelope sitting in my mailbox yesterday, and gleefully ripped it open, extracted my passport and flipped to the visa page. Was thoroughly deflated to find that my approval dates run from April 9th to July 9th! WTF! It's already April 18th, and besides the point, my fieldtrip is in August. To add insult to injury, my gender is listed as 'M'. Oh gawd...started the whole rigmarole this morning of the incessant emailing and calling of the Panamanian consulate and Smithsonian staff.

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