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10 September, 2005

The Samurai in Summer

The Samurai has had a less than pleasant summer holiday. A thief stole his laptop bag in Copenhagen, containing the family passports - including visas for the UAE, Canada, Schengen, and the UK.

The Samurai puts in a call to the Iraqi Consulate in Denmark, to find that the Consul vanished several months ago, after not being paid for a year. As a result, the only place that new Schengen visas can be issued is Berlin. But the Samurai doesn't have a visa to get to Berlin.

So a call to the Iraqi underground migrant network gets him smuggled across country in a nine-hour car drive, then onto a nighttime ferry to Germany.

Strings are pulled in the UAE and a new set of Iraqi passports eventually arrives. But the British Embassy won't touch them. "These passports aren't secure enough for us to issue a visa - you could easily put new photos in." More strings are pulled, and the visa is issued on a separate piece of paper.

Then after six weeks of paperwork hell, he gets a call from his office in Dubai. "Your documents have arrived in the mail." What documents? "All your visas and papers - they've been posted over from Denmark." Whether the thief had a conscience or a greater fear of being caught with Iraqi passports, the Samurai will never know.

He gets the original passports airmailed and the family flies to Paris, booking a flight to Canada on 2nd August. At the last minute a friend calls from the UK wanting to meet up, so the Samurai postpones the Canada flight and takes the Chunnel to London.

In what must be the Samurai's only stroke of luck the entire summer, the flight he cancels ends up crashing and bursting into flames in Toronto. Miraculously, all the passengers and crew survive, but much of their luggage is destroyed.

This is little consolation for the Samurai:

"If I had had to go through making all my passports again, I would have wanted to kill myself."

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Bahahaha.. oh man.. the hell of passports. From what I understand, the UAE won't issue visas to Iraqi's anymore, also because of something about their passports. Not sure what the deal is.

At least he's got a network of friends who can bail him out.. ain't it good to have friends 'round the world?

10 September, 2005 17:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These passports aren't secure enough for us to issue a visa - you could easily put new photos in." More strings are pulled, and the visa is issued on a separate piece of paper."

A separate piece of paper?!? That certainly solves the problem! snort Ahh, bureaucracy . . .

11 September, 2005 03:23  
Blogger 1Desi said...

What a story!

11 September, 2005 14:28  

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