Where there is a will there’s a way…Wednesday found us down the Indian High Commission, efficient queuing system with numbers, but unfortunately no-one in the offices! And lots of people waiting patiently in chairs. Beginning to get grumpy at this stage: ‘I told you so’. Officials arrive and the numbers click through quickly as all these people are waiting for something else. So only one person in front of us! Long story short, ‘impossible’ to get business visa if you are non-resident and no work permit…have to get from London. But wait a minute…you live in Switzerland, not London? Ah, so you haven’t been in London for at least two months? No of course not, we came straight here! Then, under these special circumstances we can grant you a tourist visa, both of you…Phew! we will pick them up next Thursday, and we were able to take our passports away with us so that we can travel this weekend. I love India – but reading Dalrymple’s The Age of Kali gives a completely different perspective.
Yes, because travelling is what we are here for! This weekend we will visit Malaka (Molucca), 4 hours by bus into Malaysia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then we leave for Bangalore on 25 March; quick turnaround in Singers, before we go off to Djakarta the following week. Then there’s a break for about a month (during which we can get our Indian visas sorted for Hyderabad in May) and then a flurry of India, Malaysia and Taiwan. Haven’t got as far as June yet!
On the bucket list is: Krabi, Langkawi, Bintan (1 hour by ferry in Indonesia), Bangkok where I have a friend…and who knows? Wherever else the low cost flights can get us for the weekend!
Pleased to report I swim 1km daily taking 35 mins, then settle down to reading Ma’s letters. We are now in Alexandria, 1942, having a great time – dances, swims, sailing, oh and a few watches and work in-between. She always said it was the best time of her life, and she felt slightly guilty about it. It is fascinating stuff and I can hear her voice as I read her words…amazing how character does not change.
Most nights I knock up a delicious meal as well. This week I made a kind of laksa with chicken, coconut and kow kee chye, local green veg not unlike spinach but VERY GOOD FOR YOU; last night a Burmese pork curry with Indian okra and pineapple chili salsa. No bought-in pastes allowed. The lime squeezer you have all been so rude about is being used at least three times a day – for morning papaya, Vietnamese-style salad dressing at lunch and in the evening for the stir fries. So there! Tonight we are going out with Mark and Lucie Greaves, and Tubby Shenfield. Light blues out in force!
Pleased to report that I also spoke to someone other than Ross this week…a nice woman called Louise (is this a sign?) who has been living here since before Christmas. I am now armed with topical tips and will sally forth next week on some expeditions in search of the under-$2 Japanese gadget store amongst other things….