Archive for 8. August 2011

Successful dealing with authorities

Monday, 8. August 2011

I took a day of for administrative formalities. Getting up early to be countercyclical on the road, arriving at the German embassy in Pretoria a quarter to eight. After an hour we not only submitted our applications for new passports (for a work permit your passport needs to be at least two years valid, and ours run out during 2012 and 2013 respectively) and German police clearance, but also spent a decent amount of money. The handling charges were so high that my bank’s fraud detection¬† department tried to reach me, suspicious since there were two transaction requests of similar amount to one recipient. Since on the premises of the embassy cell phones must be turned off the then cascade of SMSs and voice mails only reached me on the way back to Johannesburg.

Next stop the health centre to pick up our radiological reports.

Then a first in a lifetime experience at the Sandton police station. Applying for a South African police clearance does not only mean filling forms and paying administration fees, but leaving your fingerprints. They need fingerprints from the tips of all ten fingers, but in addition all full fingers too. Guess what – no electronic scan, but the officer is using a drum (pretty much like those we used to use in our childhood for lino print) to blacken a metal plate. Then relax arms and hands and let the officer push your fingers on the plate and roll them on the paper. “You leave the office and turn right, then next left, pass the kitchen and at the end of the passage you find the basin to clean your hands.” Getting the paint off, definitely takes longer than getting the prints taken. And besides soap and hot water a scouring pad is most important.

Next stop the company hired by IBM to get our visas. We delivered everything necessary. But since the whole process upfront took so incredibly long we might need to leave to country in early September, and reenter from Germany again.

We will keep you posted,

Most of you …

Monday, 8. August 2011

won’t believe if I was to tell you that Monique is going to enter voluntarily the aircraft on the picture at the right. Won’t you?

She, who is scared to fly with a huge airbus, where you barely sense that you are flying.

Two years ago, while the second game drive after our bush wedding, she forced the field guide to immediately drive back to the lodge, when he spotted the lions in the far distance on open plains. Now she is about entering a type of an aircraft not in my wildest dreams I would believed I could have convinced her to do.

And why?
To get to a Big5 reserve to walk 3 days thru the bush, and sleep in a tent – unfenced – amongst lions, buffalos, elephants, and what else have you.

I will photo document when she is entering. Otherwise I am sure nobody will believe me.