Days 501-507: What Happened, Happened

16.05.10-22.05.10: 500 days on the road and a good 200 of them have been wasted waiting for either visas or boats.  In situations like this you can’t help but acquiesce and go with the flow.  The other plans you could have gone for – maybe a new visa for Iran would have been quicker (and cheaper) – will only serve to taunt you.  I’ve made my bed and one way or another I’ll have to lie in it.  The maddening thing is that I know once I reach the UAE and Oman I’m going to be stuck there, perhaps for a comparable time, waiting for a way to get to Eritrea. On Thursday this week my dad returned to London for a third time.  The visa was ready.  We looked into getting my Eritrea and Indian visas, but they would both take too long to come…

Continue Reading Days 501-507: What Happened, Happened

Days 494-500: No Dice

09.05.10-15.05.10: 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…

Continue Reading Days 494-500: No Dice

Days 487-493: Quiz Night

02.05.10-08.05.10: On Sunday morning came the news I was waiting for – my Saudi invitation was in the bag!  Within just a few days I’d be finally buzzing through to Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.  I headed like a bonanza bongo bang bang buckaroo over to the Saudi embassy.  Only I found myself stopping along the way in a copy shop to get the letter of invitation printed out.  But this wasn’t just any old copy shop – this was the copy shop that Eric was talking about the other night!  I could get the visa here!  Of all the copy shops in all the Kuwait Cities…  Awesome.  I printed out my letter of invitation (which was all in Arabic) but it was up to Captain Hugh back in the UK to rush back to his office in Liverpool and write me a letter of introduction…

Continue Reading Days 487-493: Quiz Night

The Balance of Power…

Well, I don’t know if my predictions for Lost are going to be as spot-on as my predictions for the election result, but if Nick Clegg gets his way with PR, let me hereby predict not just the outcome of this election, but the outcome of the next 100 years worth of elections: The Liberals will win. They won’t necessary win a majority, but the wonderful thing (for them!) is that they won’t need to - in fact, it would be better if they didn't.  They will always win because the a Tory/Labour pact is about as likely as the pope doing a breakdance on the bonnet of Hugh Hefner’s pink Cadillac.  So once we set up a system that by it’s very nature will hardly ever foster a 51% majority for any given party, the Libs will have that all-important power of veto… and they…

Continue Reading The Balance of Power…

Days 480-486: Boiling Point

25.04.10–01.05.10: This week I’ve been staying with a guy from Austria called Martin.  His flat is spanking – it’s in a brand new apartment complex and the apartment is so neat and tidy just my mere presence is enough to destabilise the Xi.  It’s warming up here in Kuwait – the rains of last week are but a distant memory and it’s hard not to be enchanted by the thought of running from one air-conditioned building to another. There was still no sign of my Saudi Letter of Invitation coming through and so I cracked on with website updates.  On Friday I met with Ruban and we crashed a rooftop party held by a cool British guy called Wes.  There I met a ton of tip-top people.  First up, there was Kassie from Australia, who offered me a place to crash now that I was in…

Continue Reading Days 480-486: Boiling Point