step away from the familiar,
Touch, be touched. Leave home,
let the unpredictability of the road shake your beliefs.
Find a new way back,
along the way become someone else.
Perhaps this new he or she
is the you that was there all the time,
before you were defined or began to define
that person who stares back from the mirror.
                                John Brandi
                                'A question of journey'
                                Kathmandu, Nepal, 1998

For the prequel to this sequel visit Pieter en Johan's Blog on http://journeytonepal.skynetblogs.be

04:59 Gepost door pieter | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |


Too much monkey business going on.

Monday Nov 3: 10 am. Visit to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu to request a 6 month Visa. 
On arrival, find three windows, each with a queu of 10 to 25 people. Which one to choose? Thanks to some helpful foreigners I find out the longest line - TELEX window- is mine. Here I make a first appearance, no waiting required, to request a form, in duplicate, to request from Indian Embassy in Brussels a clearance to issue my Visa - one assumes this is to verify that I am not on the most wanted list of the BOB. Next I join the queu at the very end and slowly progress to the same window, this time to submit the form - filled out in black ink only, in CAPITAL letters. Three hours later then, I am told to come back next Thursday at 9.30am to pick up the clearance.
While proceeding patiently, I have figured out, with the help of the other foreigners that at the time of my second visit I will wait in line at the same window again to pick up the clearance...and then proceed to the next queu - fortunately shorter and moving faster - at the VISA window, with Visa application form and clearance to request Visa proper - NR 3050 ( Nepali roepies). Passport with coveted Visa stamp is then to be picked up after 4.30 in the afternoon, at the same window. Armed with all this new information, I walk away, confidently, innocently.
Thursday Nov 6: After a 2 hour queu - this time I brought a book - I am told by the clerk behind the TELEX window to return next Monday or Tuesday - apparently the clearance did not clear yet. Uh-oh?!
Tuesday Nov 11: Back to the Indian Embassy. This time I arrive early - 9am - and wait in line at the gate for about 30 minutes. A young lady, Belgian nationality - is in line right after me. She submitted her request last Monday, just after me. She too has been back twice already. Apparently this is not a personal thing; the Indian Embassy in Brussels is just slow to respond to the telexes. Thanks to our early arrival, we get to the window in a fast 30 minutes. No clearance yet. That's bad. I am invited to step into the office of some VIP. That's good.
VIP informs me that Brussels is not responding.
"How soon do I wish to travel to India?" - By Thursday.
"Can I wait one more day and return tomorrow?" VIP will submit another request - in black ink - to Brussels. If there is no reply by tomorrow, he will issue the Visa without clerarance.
Fine by me. Do I have to wait in line again tomorrow? No sir, I will initial your form. We're really making headway now, leaps and bounds. And thank you, dai!Voila.  Brahma is on our side after all.
Ourtside his office my young compatriot is looking for me. She is in a tizzy. No clearance for her either. Tomorrow she has to meet a friend somewhere on the way to India.  Where did I bolt?  I introduce her to VIP. He will be happy to help her in the same way.
I wait for her outside the office. Making sure she will be helped proper - and I would like to get my black pen back from her. As she comes darting out, she misses the step and stumbles to the floor.
Wait a minute, let me get it together, just have to pick myself up off the floor. This place don't make sense to me no more,senor.
Wednesday November 12. Thanks to my insistence (?) the Indian Embassy in Belgium has responded. All Belgian requests have been cleared. 'Give me a ticket for an airplane, ain't got time to take the fastest train... '

04:23 Gepost door pieter | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |