Thursday 1 July 2010

Hoping my brand new exit permit actually works......

Some of you might be aware that I receive some sad news a couple of days ago via a comment to this blog. So I spent all of Wednesday and much of today, Thursday, arranging for an exit permit and flights home for the month. As other vols will know traipsing round the various offices of the bureaucracy that is the government of India, especially when it involves different branches is an exercise in patient determination. Combine that with being out here in the sticks where local officials have never had to do what you are asking of them before, and have no resource, written or online, to tell them what they are supposed to do and you have a recipe for a small job taking a long time. This is then made even longer by the passing the problem onto someone else that is rampant here. I won't go on about it but suffice to say after much to-ing and fro-ing as of late this morning I have in my possession an exit permit. Phew! I had seriously expected it to take much longer. This document is suppose to allow me to leave the country, to explain that my expired visa stamp in my passport is superceded by my application for an extension which is already in progress and has been since April, and also hopefully let me back into India . There is a nagging Doubting Thomas in my head that will only be quiet once I am seated on the international flight.
So Saturday morning bright and early I shall be picked up by a car to drive me the 5 hours to Vizag airport - booking this late meant no train seats, otherwise I would have been up even earlier! A 2PM flight to Mumbai, arriving circa 5:30 then a massive wait till a 02:20 AM flight to London - I hope there is something to keep me going and somewhere nice to sit and eat something at Mumbai airport. I should arrive Sunday 07:30AM local time in London. K is picking me up, bless him, then I shall catch up on sleep, eat some nice food, K is a great cook, and am looking forward to promised Champagne in the bath - no not to soak in just to drink to celebrate my first bath since early November and also their new bathroom. Then it will be down to practicalities, as I shall have to buy some summer clothes as the only UK clothes that are in my emergency bag at K's are winter ones, as I had not intended to be back until after the end of my placement.  I shall be living out of a suitcase for the time I am there and bunking up with friends as I have tenants in my house and all my stuff in store - thanks in advances folks, you know who you are! I shall be playing it by ear and there is no fixed planned itinery, other than to see J. She is currently in hospital  in Derby , but may be moved. J and I have known each other for nearly 40 years, having met in our first few days at university - gosh that is a long time ago! I have never met anyone with such a positive attitude and such inner strength of spirit as J - today she teases me about having to wear a mask to visit, in fact maybe even full diver's gear coming  from India she jokes :) Way you go girl!
So anyways, the blog may slow down, but I shall keep you posted and be back, hang on in there with me.


  1. I am really sorry to hear your friend is not well. I hope all turns out OK.

    Enjoy your bath and the company of your dear friends. They are wahat keeps us going, anyway.

    Love from Bahrain

  2. So, hopefully you will be in Mumbai shortly and can access the net in the airport.
    Safe journeys Sheila.
    Hope it won't feel too cold here...
    you may want that Winter gear after all!
    Trust you and your friend can get some good time together.
    Ken xxx

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your friend but wish you a safe trip. Take care and enjoy your bath!

  4. Tx everyone. I've spoken to J on the phone as she is currently in hospital. I am currently recovering from the jet lag.. Will be arranging northward travel over the next couple of days

  5. I, too, am so sorry to hear of your friend's current situation.

    My best wishes to you. I await your return patiently.

  6. I am sorry for the sad news of your friend. You are so amazing to take the time and go see them...and I hope everything works out.

    Thinking of you,
    big hugs,