Well, we’ve encountered two hang-ups. One isn’t so bad and one is making me want to claw my face off from frustration.
I received the airline certified cat carriers this afternoon but there was a problem. They were smaller than what I’d thought when I originally bought them. They looked roomy and more than adequate when I was in the store, but when I put one down and stuck Dapper in it, it was obvious that it was not going to be appropriate, or even acceptable by the airline. Dapper could barely fit inside, couldn’t turn around and couldn’t even stand up. Maybe it’s because she’s so fat, but regardless, I had to jump in the shower and take them back to the store for an exchange to the next bigger size.
When I went up there I was a little worried about how the whole thing would go. I’d never tried to exchange anything in Singapore before and while it would be an easy swap process in the US, you never know when it comes to Singapore retailers. Thankfully, this standard of exchange is in use here in Singapore as well. I just had to show that the carriers were still in new condition, with the packaging on them, and present the receipt and it was a quick process to request a “top-up” to the next size.
So, I was able to bring home one carrier in the next higher size and I’ll have to wait until next week to get the other two. I imagine it’ll take 7 days again, which means I’ll get them on the 28th, just in time to take them to the vet on the 29th for their rabies shots and health certificates. I’m glad I bought those other cages when I did, leaving myself room for fixing this sort of mistake. I’m also glad that the people at PetLover’s were pleasant and quick to help me out with the exchange!
That was the easy fix problem. The next problem is the one that has me banging my head against my desk. Well, not literally, but I want to.
Part of the process of getting my cats out of Singapore is requesting an export permit from the AVA. Getting an import permit from the Philippines BAI was as simple as sending an e-mail with the details of the cats, the shipping method and date of arrival. There was a slight hang-up due to technical issues but once we contacted them we had it back on the same day by e-mail. The AVA is proving to be much, much more difficult.
When you go to their site there are clear links for export permits for personal pets, and it indicates that you can fill out a form online for two day processing of your request. The problem here is that all of the links point to an online form that seems to be geared towards businesses. There is no personal form that I can find. The form we keep getting directed to requests some business identification number and another number I don’t recall right now, but either way, you can’t progress past the first page of the request form without filling those in. We obviously don’t have them, and the average person wouldn’t have them either. I keep getting the feeling that I’m looking at the wrong form, but no matter how many links I click I always wind up on that one. My wife tried with the same results.
So, tomorrow I’m going to have to call up the AVA and figure out what the deal is. I hope they don’t tell me something that’s going to make me throw my phone through the wall. This process has already been stressful enough, both on my wife and I, and on my wallet.
This whole process has been a real lesson in how difficult an international move really is. Before this, any time I’d ever moved I’d had it all arranged by the military. Well, except for my coming to Singapore in the first place, but when I did that I gave away my furniture, electronics, and anything I couldn’t immediately use to my family, packed a few suitcases and hopped on a plane. I suppose this wouldn’t be too much different, except for there being two of us now, if not for our cats, but we aren’t about to abandon them either.
Anyhow, the “top-up” on the carriers wasn’t free, so here’s the update:
Total damages so far: 770 SGD (approximately)
Total to go: 380 SGD (approximately)