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Getting out of the “deep field” Part II

Friday, October 12, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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On Sunday I got two pieces of news that made me sit up and pay attention. The first news was that the airstrip in Ghor was closing on Wednesday for repairs and the second news was that my Afghan visa had expired and I would not be let out of the country until it was renewed.

So I jumped on the first flight out of Ghor (a week ahead of plan) and spent a day in Herat transfering money from my Afghan to my NZ bank account and trying to charm the consulate staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs into overlooking my lapsed visa and renewing it. An Afghan friend with extraordinary diplomatic skills and a great network helped out and they promised to issue it by next Tuesday.

Then it emerged that I would need a transit visa for India or be forced to sleep overnight in the terminal, but I could only get that visa in Kabul. So I left my UN passport in Herat, jumped on the first plane to Kabul (via Mazar) and took my NZ passport to the Indian embassy on Thursday morning – to be told initially that they require three working days to issue a visa and because of the Eid holidays my passport would not be ready until next Thursday (when I am due to fly). But again something worked in my favour: charm, smiles, the end of Ramadan approaching; I don't know what did it but be 4.30pm I walked away from the Embassy with my passport and new visa in hand.

I think this trip is charmed – every step of the way little unexpected challenges have popped up and against all odds and in direct contradiction to the predictions of seasoned hands – solutions have appeared, in time.

It looks like I won't be needing a donkey this time.

PS: Go visit Laini's blog where she makes me feel like a superstar by posting about my love affair with Magpie, the lead character in Laini's "Faries of Dreamdark" series.


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12 Responses to "Getting out of the “deep field” Part II"

  1. lacithecat says:

    Frida! Yeh you are off! Smile …
    Good luck getting everything sorted and happy travels. I am glad we had an opportunity to skype a bit before you left.

  2. sassy says:

    I hope your travels go as smoothly as the visa demand did. Smoothly, being relatively speaking, of course.

  3. susannah says:

    one week… one week… one week…. 😀 xo

  4. i just love reading about how the stars are aligning for you, sweetie!!!
    you are so deserving of a trip that is charmed from beginning to end 😉
    thanks for the link over to laini’s and the chance to spy gorgeous you in those beautiful phots…
    you are absolutely a superstar*
    love to you,

  5. Katie says:

    Funny what smiles and serendipity will do for good soul! Did you know I call Portland, OR, home? I hope you have the best time & travel safely. If there’s time, might I recommend the Milo’s Cafe or Lovely Hula Hands or Holden’s – all delish! Take care.

  6. Swirly says:

    When things are meant to be, they are meant to be. When you get here remind me to tell you about how my husband managed to get his passport renewed in five hours. It’s a Friday and he’s due to fly to Japan Saturday, sees his passport is expired – oops – but by the end of the day he had a new one in hand. One more week and you’ll be here!!

  7. ceanandjen says:

    Hurrah for charm, good timing, luck…let’s just call it “meant to be.” Have a wonderful weekend preparing for your trip!

  8. Mardougrrl says:

    Yay! All of that good karma you have accrued, my dear. xoxo, M

  9. Mandi says:

    Happy and safe travels!

  10. susanna says:

    Oh I am so glad that everything worked out for you! And I can’t wait to meet you in NYC. 🙂

  11. 180/360 says:

    Your life sounds so extraordinary!

  12. Paris Parfait says:

    Thank goodness – about time you had some good luck on your side. Safe travels and have a wonderful trip! xo

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