Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - the diplomatic run around...

For lack of a photo to post, i give you another in a series of badly written postcards i sent home. this time i wrote from the omo valley.

[ed. note: the primary reason i'm in Addis is to get a visa for sudan. one of requirements is to get a letter of introduction from the Canadian Embassy. that plus a couple of passport photos and hand in the required application forms. simple as that. not. next few postings will illustrate the hoops that the sudanese made me jump though.]

Not much happened today other than I made it to the Embassy [Canadian]. As usual, there's a couple layers of security to get through. But, once on the grounds, I could not help but feel I stepped into the set of Fantasy Island. The main building is palatial. The cost of the letter was 50 dollars (Steve must be laughing all the way to the bank). Canadian dollars not USD. Who the hell carries Canuck bucks? I had a fat 50 USD bill burning in my pocket but it's worth nothing here. Change was not possible. I didn't have enough Ethiopian birr (the alternative). So, I walked a mile to the closest bank.

I forked over the money only to find out they couldn't issue the form letter (it's always a form letter) right away. Makes me want to, well, hurt someone.

Took an expensive cab ride to the embassy. The cabbie swore, on an orthodox christian bible, that it was impossible and "waste of time" trying to get the Sudanese visa. With that ringing assessment I may as well have stayed home under the bed covers wishing the world would go away.

There is hope though. I met a girl tonight who is picking up her Sudanese visa tomorrow. AND, she's one of those evil Americans! It only took her a week of waiting.

Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, Mar 26/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!


Steve H. said...

Those useless bureaucrats you dealt with are all too typical. They're inept and seem to think they're doing you some kind of favour instead of their friggin jobs. We're thinking about canning them and privatizing embassy services. Alberta did it with registries and liquor stores so why not?

bubba said...

steve h., i think that's a great idea. might get better service. that's not so difficult. wonder why we have to fork over 80 bucks for a passport sometimes. consular services amount to nothing. zip.

Steve H. said...

We're also kicking around the idea of leasing some of the space inside the embassies to make them profitable. Maybe let Tim's set up shop for homesick Canucks needing a fix, or Thomas Cook operate a travel store.

bubba said...

The Tim's is a good idea. That might pick up the spirits of your downtrodden employees.