Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stranded on Rhodes

If you read my last entry, you know that I was having some passport troubles, that my Irish passport expires on 10 July and I didn't bring my US one along (it expires 2010). I went to the Turkish consulate here but they told me I would need a validity extension of six months on my passport before they could issue a visa and there could be no other way. I discovered by ringing the UK consulate that there is an Irish vice-consul on the island. I met him but he sadly informed me that just a few years ago he could have helped but that the rules have changed and a new machine-readable passport would be the only answer, which could only be issued in Dublin and would take a minimum of 2 and 1/2 weeks!

So Lucia rang our landlord Laci who managed to find my US passport in the drawer where I left it and got down to DHL where he paid HUF 15,000 (USD 90) to ship it down here lickty-split. That was yesterday at 14:00. I checked the DHL website and entered my waybill number and found that my passport left the office but was "on-hold" in Budapest. I assume it's just waiting for a flight and its status will change tomorrow. The hotel manager here told me he thinks it will come by Friday. I sure as heck hope so. Meanwhile I've moved into a cheaper room, which is still reasonably nice. Lucia, Eldar and I ate another expensive restaurant meal today in the old town. Naturally, as soon as I saw them off on the ferry, I found cheaper places. But no need to gripe! They have arrived safely at Butterfly Valley after a speedy trip on a hydrofoil. Eldar must have loved it. I cannot wait to hear his account. I am sufficiently funded to hold out here a few days and - God willing - my passport will arrive and I will join my lovely family. In the meantime I can hang out here with the geriatrics on the beautiful Island of Rhodes. If I buy some sun cream tomorrow I could even go to the beach. In any event, there's enough space in my new room to practice Yoga, so I've got that to look forward to tomorrow morning.

Now I think I'll go out and buy a bottle of water, then retire to my room for some of those grape-leaf wrapped rice rolls and call it a day.

In this lonely hour, all comments are welcome!


  • At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Kristof Kovacs said…

    Hi Jake,

    just to let you know that you are not alone, people are reading you! (At least, I do.)

    Under similar circumstances, I usually imagine that I'm a monk retreated in a monastery, and just meditate. :)


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