A happy ending

8 Sep


It’s been a pretty wild week in the Brinkmann household, administratively speaking. Up until 2 hours ago, our much-anticipated and months-in-the-planning holiday in France was off.

Having submitted all the relevant documentation to the visa-guy at Olaf’s company over a month ago, we honestly anticipated very few issues getting a simple holiday visa for France for me. We are expats after all, we are not new to the world of visa applications. Anyone living abroad will tell you that half of your life is spent doing visa type activities, especially in the beginning. I thought we had done it all after we completed the poop-in-a-specimen-jar-on-demand part of the medical for our Saudi visa (TWICE)  but it has been one thing after another with this one. I am very proudly South African but it is an awful passport to travel on, we need a visa just to breathe. 

These visa guys had us in a vice grip all week. At one point I was even phoning Noor, my regular taxi driver, in Pakistan where he is on holiday to ask him to send me one of his friends to get me across town in a hurry. When I was 18 and thinking about where life would take me I would never have anticipated that at 33 I would be phoning Pakistan to get a lift across a city in the Middle East.

By last night my passport was officially missing. The visa company had sent it to the French Embassy but the French Embassy had no record of ever receiving it. To cut a long story short, we spent our day waiting and waiting and waiting. At 5pm we got a call to say that we should come and fetch the passport, and we had 10 minutes to do so! So for the fourth time this week we raced across Riyadh, all in the name of a holiday. This time we came home with the goods; so exasperated, exhausted and shocked that we did not even celebrate – other than cranking up the music and singing  a little in the car. In terms of the timing, it feels like we got the passport on Christmas Eve. Eid (the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan) begins here tomorrow and then everything will be shut for a week. It was so very close! 

It is beginning to sink in and I am sure that when we wake up and start packing tomorrow morning, we will start to get that holiday feeling. But for now, a peaceful night’s rest is all we feel like.

Next time I post news will be from here:

Picture courtesy of Domaine des Eissartenes(our accomodation in Provence)


3 Responses to “A happy ending”

  1. Brigitte September 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    enjoy enjoy enjoy

  2. arathi. September 11, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    I love your blog; I’ve been reading it for some time now, and I can so relate to some of the things that you’ve posted, especially about the travel woes.

    I had such a hard time with my visa applications as well; it has such a dampening effect on whatever excitement traveling has. I’m glad you managed to sort it out (despite the harried nature) and have a great holiday in France!!


    • dustbusting September 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

      Thanks arathi.

      Visa’s and all that go with them definately keep your travel ideas from becoming too dreamy and romantic! We waited until we had my passport in our possesion before we even began to allow ourselves to get excited this time round.

      But France is dreamy and worth all the trouble. Expect updates and pics in the next few hours.
      Thanks for stopping by

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