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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Another round with officials

The last three days were... weird.

I haven't done much... walking.

But now, there is... a plan (spoiler alert).

(my) dessert for the fam (watching cricket)

First came in the news, through my offices - calling friend, that the police deems me suspicious and won't allow me visit the hill areas. Whatever have I done to these power hoarding mongrels?

The highest peak is right on the border with Myanmar - and to be fair, that was about the only reason I was hoping to get into the area. And I doubt they'd let me there in any case.

Moving on.

I sneak in a visit to the local ZOO, but it's mostly a sad affair. About half of the animals have their cages Japanese style and don't seem all too thrilled about it. Still, they win over me in attention given to them, even though it seemed a tight fight for a while, so that's at least some satisfaction.

everyone watching the reporter

With the sea route blocked - all there's left is going back to India or flying. Or flying back to India. Could go back to Pakistan, after all...

I investigate. Takes over a day.

Transit visa allows 72 hours in the country, but whether I'd be allowed to enter through a land crossing is impossible to find online.

the lucky few

Indian Embassy is busy and charges baksheesh merely for walking in. I'm told to fill in the online application and come back - transit visa, in any case, cannot be granted online, so I'd needed to come in any case.

More research reveals that I wouldn't be able to cross the country in 3 days. That's how fricking big it is. In theory I could, if I took the train and nothing had gone wrong. But just booking a last minute train in India, from abroad, without Indian card...

I give up. If I fly in, I can apply for ETA, the Indian eVisa and save myself more multiple trips to the Embassy, and the logistics of leaving my passport there and picking it up again. Plus the stress of hoping against hope that something in India would be on time.

Day later, an email comes through. My Indian visa application has been reviewed.

I choke up a little bit - will the deleted and not denied extension application have any consequences? It's fine getting kicked out of a country, nobody asks about that. But getting visa application turned down could be a future complication.

It is granted.

I am going to finish the trip that I have started, some 2 months later than I thought.

But we'll have 3.5 weeks more to spend in Pakistan.

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