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5 AUG - Istanbul, Turkey

Date received: Sun Aug 05 2001, 05:29 AM PDT

Friday was to be my Day of Reckoning, but it passed with a whimper. The Iranian consulate was closed, the Indian consulate wanted to keep my passport until next week, and I didn't hear back from South Africa on my carnet.

Yesterday, I went to the Iranian consulate again, and this time they were open. I handed them my passport, and they proceeded to shuffle through a large stack of paper. "One moment" he said. When the man returned, I was told to take a seat. I was getting nervous. After about 20 minutes, he waved me over.

    "How much did you pay?"
    "60 dollars"
    "Come back at 3"

At three o'clock, I returned. After waiting outside the embassy in a long line of expectant tourists, I was handed back my passport...with a shiny new Iranian visa! Phew! With all the crap that George Bush has been doing lately (extending sanctions against Iran, etc.) I'm sure they would balk at the fact that my British passport was issued in Washington.

In the afternoon, I went shopping in celebration, buying a portable CD player and a bunch of CDs, in order to help me maintain my sanity for the upcoming weeks of wading through more bureacracy. Right now, I am listening to Nick Cave. Ahhhhhh....

Tomorrow, I should find out about the carnet. What they say will pretty much dictate whether or not I can get this whole travel leg off the ground or not.


Copyright 2000 Peter Birch All Rights Reserved.