Days 494-500: No Dice
Well then, it should all be over, shouldn’t it? First thing Sunday morning I hurried down to the copy place to pick up my shiny happy visa, only for the guy to pull it out of the drawer with a despondent look on his face.
You need to get the visa in London.
I took a deep breath, nodded, smiled, exited and screamed an obscenity to the sky that would have woken Rip Van Winkle.
No visa. No dice. What now?
I rang Eric who has become my unofficial Kuwaiti Yoda, he said he could get my passport DHLed back in the UK for just a fiver through his company. Thus began my week of visa madness.
On the Monday morning I was invited back to the British Embassy to see if they could musta some ‘wusta’, the word for influence around these parts (and my collective noun for Kuwaitis). They tried their best, but as the guy in the Embassy said, he could help me get me a visa for anywhere in the world – except Saudi. They are more awkward than a spoilt child designed by Apple.
So Andrea picked me up (THANK YOU!!) and took me over to Eric’s workplace. The passport was dispatched to London. I sent it to my friend Lindsey for her to give to my dad. So the frickin’ Saudis essentially forced my 73 year old father to go all the way down to London because my letter of invitation had ‘London’ written on it – in Arabic I might add.
The answer is no, now what’s the question?
But even all that did not suffice, in London they wanted the passport to be submitted by an agency, not a individual. So my gallant father had to come all the way back to Liverpool, gather even more forms and crap and nonsense and then return to London the next day. And would it take three days (as advertised on the Saudi website) for the visa to come through? Would it buggery. It would take a week, now sod off we tire of you.
I sat in Kassie’s flat, incapacitated with a firmament of fury towards the bureaucrats of the world. I hate you all, why don’t you climb aboard the B-Ark and go torment somebody somebody else’s planet? At this rate, I’ll be in Kuwait longer than anywhere else so far on The Odyssey – even Cape Verde.
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