Monday, January 14, 2008

Entry ticket Pakistan

Score. We got the visa this morning!
Signed and glued into the passport.

While we were waiting we met several European tourists who were handing in their application. Vidian and Armelle, a young French couple from Bretagne, were also told that they needed the letter of recommendation. Unfortunely for them, the French embassy were acting anal about it and did not want to give them the letter. That while they DID get a likewise letter for entering Iran earlier in the morning. Their second attempt at the embassy an hour later proved useless. And all while any other European embassy makes no problem of providing such letter for Pakistan -even if it has to be a bogus letter like the Belgian one for me-.
Except French embassies ofcourse, who are the sovereign leader in making their citizen's travelling life difficult worldwide. Sponsored by your own national, how quaint. That's not solely a judgement on the go, but based on the bad experiences that my ex girlfriend has endured with them in various countries. They proved themselves selfrighteous once more, as long as their diplomats, or say, prime minister can safely tour the Middle East whith his popstar girlfriend. Just an example ey.

Vidian and Armelle did manage to hand in their apllication with the strict Pakistani officer excepting them and collecting the fees for the visa. We won't say how, that's a secret beyond any help the French embassy would care to give.
Let's hope it does work and they can get their Pakistani entry.

You can check their excellent blog here -in french- (or see the right hand side link section) and follow their overland trip from Europe all the way through Russia, Mongolia and down to here before they will return back to Europe through the Pakistan and Iran stretch.

The other European applicant was Theus, from Holland! Also holding the letter Maarten had, he even had to sign a certain waiver agreement for security matters, which Maarten strangely did not have to sign. The world again seemed a tiny place when Theus said he was from Utrecht too. How coincidental!
And to even add more bizarre serendipity to this, he went to the very same high school as me in the provincial town of Woerden, around the same years! Say what? We were soon laughing about knowing the same teachers and who's had who. Maarten looked to us with surprised disbelief. How lives sometimes spiral into each other at unforseen moments like on the curb of the Pakistan embassy of all places, it still amazes us.....though the feeling is getting slightly familiar over here.

Theus has been travelling on motorbike all the way from Europe and came through the Iran-Pakistan route, which he will partly retrace now. Not going home just yet, he said and will turn down at the Middle East to drive through Northern Africa and entering Europe by boat. Sounds like a great trip, passing so many continents!

We wish the best to all you travellers, getting lost somewhere, gathering new experiences elsewhere. We're off to take our evening sleeper train to Amritsar and setting foot in Pakistan tomorrow morning. Lahore for the next few days, which will be a blast ;) Nah, we're really looking forward to the gentle Pakistani hospitality and culture that everyone is praising.

Delhi the past few days has been about relaxing and me recovering from my belly bacteria games. We met Andy again over the weekend, who is in town for few days doing some business in scrapyards, looking for parts to patch up motorbikes. On saturday we went for a midnight ride in his customised Ambassador car -the one with the bed and PC inside-. Rather Maarten went for a drive, as Andy was way past his alcohol limit and off we took to India Gate, the sort of Arc the Triomphe of Delhi. Not that Andy has a driving license, Maarten neither, it was a boyish adventure of 3 kids and a dog driving around in the posh and diplomat area in a suspicious and attention tagged vehicle. At every street corner jeeps of the Delhi police were waiting with the siren lights on. Andy already made it clear that police likes stopping him, for they always want to seek a reason to nail a foreigner. For financial matters, obviously.
We didn't get stopped, even when nearly trying our luck to ask police officers for directions for we had lost our sense of it in this maze of wide avenues, when an autoriksha pulled up beside us and put us back on track again.
Luck with avoiding the police, well....If you try, you buy, I reckoned.

oh yeah, new photo's should be added, see the right hand link blah blah, you know the score by now.

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