It was complete elation. Everyone was rejoicing and making immediate plans. Scoopes to Tokyo to see his Japanese girl. Flintstone to Ann Arbor to visit an ailing father. Wee Scott to meet his wife and children in Istanbul. Bangkok Phil to… well, the brothels of Chiang Mai.
There was nothing I wanted more than to fly back to Taiwan and see my girls, but I couldn’t bring myself to make travel plans. Instead I waited. Despite the overwhelming urge to follow, I had to be careful.
Other teachers thought I was nuts. They made extravagant plans. Left extensive itineraries on their computer screens in the office. Boasted about it on the bus. This website had the best deals and that airline the best service. It was complete vacation mentality. Then suddenly the bubble burst. Three days before the holiday, the school announced the Iqamas would not come. All travel plans were a bust.
The bus ride home was somber, but the very next day word came that Iqamas were in and that we would be allowed to leave. You should have seen these guys laughing and sighing and carrying on as if they knew it was a lark all along.
Sure enough, on the night before the EID holiday started, when everyone was waiting for those beautiful visa pages to be stamped in their passports, the school called a meeting.
The meeting came at 5:30 on the last day of the week. Martin kept it brief. Iqamas would not be issued.
The suffocation was deafening. A complete cry of disbelief uttered. Guys were out thousands of dollars. But all I could do was watch Dave slump down in his chair and stare at the floor. I liked him. He was a good teacher, even though our conversations were heated, he didn’t deserve what happened to him.