Days 494-500: No Dice


Well then, it should all be over, shouldn’t it?  First thing Sunday morning I hurried down to the copy place to pick up my shiny happy visa, only for the guy to pull it out of the drawer with a despondent look on his face.

You need to get the visa in London.

I took a deep breath, nodded, smiled, exited and screamed an obscenity to the sky that would have woken Rip Van Winkle.

No visa.  No dice.  What now?

I rang Eric who has become my unofficial Kuwaiti Yoda, he said he could get my passport DHLed back in the UK for just a fiver through his company.  Thus began my week of visa madness.

On the Monday morning I was invited back to the British Embassy to see if they could musta some ‘wusta’, the word for influence around these parts (and my collective noun for Kuwaitis).  They tried their best, but as the guy in the Embassy said, he could help me get me a visa for anywhere in the world – except Saudi.  They are more awkward than a spoilt child designed by Apple.

So Andrea picked me up (THANK YOU!!) and took me over to Eric’s workplace.  The passport was dispatched to London.  I sent it to my friend Lindsey for her to give to my dad.  So the frickin’ Saudis essentially forced my 73 year old father to go all the way down to London because my letter of invitation had ‘London’ written on it – in Arabic I might add.

The answer is no, now what’s the question?

But even all that did not suffice, in London they wanted the passport to be submitted by an agency, not a individual.  So my gallant father had to come all the way back to Liverpool, gather even more forms and crap and nonsense and then return to London the next day.  And would it take three days (as advertised on the Saudi website) for the visa to come through?  Would it buggery.  It would take a week, now sod off we tire of you.

I sat in Kassie’s flat, incapacitated with a firmament of fury towards the bureaucrats of the world.  I hate you all, why don’t you climb aboard the B-Ark and go torment somebody somebody else’s planet?  At this rate, I’ll be in Kuwait longer than anywhere else so far on The Odyssey – even Cape Verde.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Carlos

    I know this comment don´t interest you because is about old times now.
    Have you taked some classes or you just got the talent ?,I fall from my chair laughing with your metaphorical comparisons: “more awkward than a spoilt child designed by Apple” , there are hundreds along your posts para “descostillarse de la risa” (don´t know how to put in english).. “more needed than a neck for George Lucas” genial ¡¡ only this material needs a little booklet.
    Cheers from Uruguay .. the start point of your Guiness record

    1. Graham

      Kudos to Uruguay! The only other country mentioned on my Guinness World Record certificate!! 🙂

      Nah, I’ve never taken a creative writing, camera operation, editing, acting or TV presenting class (although I’m sure that shows now and again). I’ve been to a couple of scriptwriting classes, but that was more about structure and which font to use.

      But, believe me, any positive comment on this site interests me!! Most people just come on here to moan that I cracked a joke or two at their country’s expense or didn’t hang around long enough or didn’t like the food (or being imprisoned). I keep telling them that if their government gave $50,000 to WaterAid I would sing their country’s praises from the top of the highest towers!!

      1. Carlos

        Yes, I´ve read comments in your blogs of very susceptible people, any hilarious comments from you and they jump you over.
        People shouldn´t take things so personally, besides you are Brit (most of you are famous for four delectable sarcasm and sense of humor) .. seat and enjoy it ¡
        No more NatGEO ?

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