Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Time For A Rest

December is quite a hectic month. It begun with snowboarding, various events and now moving to a new apartment. Today I've rented a van to transport the heavy and bulky furniture between old apartment, storage and new apartment. Even moving is exhausting, it's also exciting because of leaving old things behind and a new life at a different place starts.

In 10 days the big travel to Africa begins. On January 2nd, on a Friday evening, my travel companions and I will be on the Balkan express to Istanbul. Of course that depends if we get the visa for Sudan in time. It was a big headache how to get this particular visa. The best training for the conditions in Africa! I had to go to the Sudanese embassy in Vienna and apply for the visa. The first tricky thing was that the embassy - open from 09-16:00 was in fact only reachable at the early morning. Then I failed to speak to them because of the holy hajj. They were off duty! Finally I've got a friendly officer on the line and asked him to send me a visa application form via email. Unfortunately that failed because:

o) The embassy didn't have an official email address
o) They didn't have an application form
o) The crappy email address was misspelled
o) The processing speed obviously was one email per day

I've decided to search the internet for an ad-hoc application form and found one from the Sudanese embassy in Berlin. At the embassy I told them this is a very good official form and because it’s so nice I will use it. The officer agreed and accepted it. I have rounded up the fee for the visa and made me a friend. Next week I'll call the officer again and ask him to not forget sending me the passports.

Beside of the administrative stuff I have now finally packed my backpack. It's the first time I have a professional one. A few days before departure I'll check my stuff again and hopefully sort out some useless stuff that's just extra weight. The biggest brick will be the camera equipment. But I don't care - I'm sure it's worth it! You'll soon be able to judge...

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