DAY 68 Repeating and writing about these wrangling’s gives me a headache…but this is what happened. 9am I wait crammed against a gate till 11. I get inside. I apply for a transit visa only… a tourist one could take over a month. I receive the list of Bureaucratic requirements and an appointment for 4pm […]
Repeating and writing about these wrangling's gives me a headache...but this is what happened.
I wait crammed against a gate till 11. I get inside. I apply for a transit visa only... a tourist one could take over a month. I receive the list of Bureaucratic requirements and an appointment for 4pm the same day.
- A hard copy of online application form, filled in with passport photo,photocopies of passport and Kazakh visa etc.
-A designated date of entry and departure which must be adhered to. (they are very strict about this)
- Proof of flight/train ticket etc providing proof of passage in and out of Russia, correlating with the dates you have provided.
!st thing on the agenda was the online application form with hard copy, if I submitted this with all in-sundry at 3pm today- bar the proof of the flight/train ticket, with the view of setting an appointment and bringing those details for Thursday morning. Pay top whack when handing over those final details and set an appointment for later that afternoon,then all going well I will receive the visa on Thursday afternoon.
Adobe Flash player 9, Kazakh Internet gaff's, random offices, printing houses, the Embassy itself, a hospital and even a massive florists. 5 hours I spent trying to print this thing off... again peeps just stared and giggled at me all day. I am on the verge of a complex here...none of 4guysinacar have received this treatment.
I was left simply frustrated. 4guysinacar have me round there rented apartment for dinner...like in Urumqi we are all stationed here applying for visas.
I rolled back to the dorm room around midnight. Only one of the French guys is present... I hadn't met this one, the other had set off to Keshnet to sort something out. It was a baking hot evening... the big window was open. I couldn't sleep.
Around 2 in the morning French guy lit a cigarette mumbling.." it is too damn hot... i cannot sleep"..
"same" i replied.
For the following 4 hours we both chatted away, he was 34 and worked for a finance company in Moscow. The French all get 3 months holiday every year, hence his bike trek from Mongolia through Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Pakistan... all the 'Stans' basically. We exchanged our stories, thoughts, highlights and curiosities on the many cultures we had experienced.
Their is a chapter in ' Catch 22' when Yossarian is in a hospital bed for 6 weeks, laid opposite a guy in a full body cast who uttered not a word and obviously lay motionless...this drove Yossarian to hilarious distraction. I empathised a little with him. I got a dudes life story yet I hadn't seen his face or any major movement...he could of just been a voicebox in the corner of the room for all I knew.
The voicebox asked me about my guitar. I told him I didn't want to bring it, too much to carry... but that I am glad I did because it has kept me company for many an evening. He then went on to tell me about his stunning Russian girlfriend and her brother. How when he went to meet the family he was a little nervous of the huge man mountain soldier who is very protective of his little sister, how the Russian soldier had the misfortune of having to kill in the Chechnyan war. The story unfolded that he was infact a gentle giant and had spent months collecting and making an ornate sculpture out of 100's of sea shells for his sisters boyfriend as a gift before his journey. Charles (french guy) went on to explain he was scared stiff of breaking it at first, but now the pre-occupation of keeping it safe and having something to stare at in wonderment wherever he slept made him happy.
When the flash went off as he held the his treasured Sea Shell piece with pride I realised Charlie wasn't a voicebox... he took a photo of me with the guitar as we both howled with laughter.
Charles told me great things about Moscow and Russia and how he could get me a cheap bike and I should go with him. I wish I could.