Thursday, June 23, 2011

Take this tablet every day

It was coming up to that time of the month when the Goat needed a visa run. For those not in the know, British passport holders without Residence Visas are allowed to enter the UAE and stay for up to thirty days. It’s possible to leave the country and then re-enter for a further month.

Following the Goat’s redundancy and subsequent cancellation of his UAE Residence Visa, the first visa run was to Bahrain. Instead of simply arriving and flying straight back, Beloved Wife accompanied the Goat, and both enjoyed a splendid weekend with friends.

The plan included scuba diving in the gin-clear waters off the Bahrain coast, but soon expanded to include a black-tie dinner dance at the Golf Club. Neither Beloved Wife nor Goat actually play golf (or SwishBugger, as it was more accurately portrayed the following day on the driving range) but that didn’t prevent a hugely entertaining and very liquid evening from taking place. Other weekend entertainments included Nix’s horse, where she rode and Goat, (who’s not been on horseback since 1991 and that was for about half an hour) taking photos, and a slightly naughty drive in a Corvette. Heh, heh, heh!

Almost a month later, and the Goat contacted his prospective future employers to remind them about the Contract of Employment, and a note that the start date really ought to be before his current UAE visa expired. And so it was that the Goat found himself on a day trip to Doha last Wednesday.

Fly Dubai leaves Terminal 2 at 7am, so the alarm went off at an unearthly 4am. Almost unbelievably, there is actually another four o’clock. An alarm clock that rings when the hour hand is on the right-hand side of the clock face is uncivilised.

How is it, the Goat wonders, that so many people who can afford designer luggage, decent clothes and air tickets seem unable to afford soap? One of these fragrant individuals was so desperate to get on board the aircraft that he pushed and shoved the Goat on the steps. As if the Boeing is going to drive off and get airborne leaving irate passengers on the apron.

“Please. Go past me, if you think it’s that important.”

And then the Goat had the delight of standing in the aisle waiting while the said gentleman manhandled his very large designer luggage into the overhead bin.

Whilst on the subject of whinging about people and things, why do people at Immigration seem actively to seek out empty pages in a passport? Perhaps they are in collusion with government agencies who stand to make a tidy profit by selling regular travellers a new ten-year passport every three years. The Goat has also noted that the tin-pottedness of a particular regime appears to be directly proportional to the size of the visa applied to a passport.

The day trip turned into two job interviews with the same firm that had already appointed the Goat, or so he’d been led to believe. But the appointment was confirmed. Huzzah! Starting date is the end of the month.



Dave said...

Wellsaid - so true!

Gnomad said...

On the subject of visas and potted tins, my one-day tourist visa to Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) covered a whole page in my passport. Do please draw your own conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely with you on the tinpot thing!
And as for the armpit thing - I think there should be a BOometer at the check in for every flight. Anyone who fails has to sit on the wing!

Martín said...

"...the tin-pottedness of a particular regime appears to be directly proportional to the size of the visa applied to a passport".

Couldn't help thinking of the 3 pages taken up in my passport by the German migration office's stickers...

Grumpy Goat said...

Any attempt to drive a motor vehicle between the UAE and Qatar requires a Saudi Arabia Transit Visa. To obtain one of these, one of the many requrements is "Two adjacent blank pages in the passport."


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