Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Syrian Visa

Had to laugh when I saw this in an Indian newspaper, but really it is the reality for most of the world- what are the rest of us doing who have many lights, cars, etce, etc, etc at our disposal to use wisely?

Speeding along on the Shatabdi express, left Delhi at 6.00am after a few interesting days.
Praveen and I had lots of paper work to do- his tax time, setting up a company based in India…do they ever love paper work in triplicate!!
The view out the window is slightly tinted golden and a wonderful view of the rugged edges of the Arravalli Hills, little dusty villages and the winter wheat crop all golden and being cut- mostly by hand.
We will be buying bags of that wheat to store and use through out the year in our hotel and home.
Each week you take the amount you will need for the week to the miller and have it milled fresh- that is how the tastiest chapattis are made and the taste difference is really noticeable to shop bought flour milled weeks or months ago.
Praveen and I are planning a trip to Syria to finalise all the ideas for a textile tour there next year with Dijanne Cevaal.
I had talked to the Embassy on the phone about requirements and there seemed a lot of paperwork to present… so we arrived at the embassy expecting a lot of stuffy formalities and mucking around.
What a surprise, the man on the desk was smiling and helpful -after a few casual questions, a few phone calls to the powers that be above somewhere and me filling out the forms in triplicate [no carbon paper in sight!] he said pick up the passports tomorrow.
Stunned! Would be the only way to describe me- the easiest brush with pen pushers and burocrats ever and it bodes well for our trip.
I have been doing a lot of research on Syria, naturally, and have Dijanne’s tales to refer to, generally friendliness is a word that comes up in all descriptions, a helpful and welcoming people.
Looks good to me.
Ohh dear the A/C has just kicked in on the train and it has gone to pleasantly cool to freezing…I am going to need to find a cardigan….packed away in my suitcase as outside it is over 30’C.

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