Day 696: Yes I Awoke

27.11.10: But only because Dan woke me up.  Groggy and sleep deprived I clambered onto the minibus that would be speeding me back to Kupang.  Bye bye Dili!  The minibus ride to the border was brilliant – there were only two of us onboard so I could sit where I wanted and the seats went all the way back.  I lay down and gazed at the stunning scenery whizzing by: turquoise tinted bays dotted with wooden fishing boats, islands of green rolling hills stretching off into the horizon and fluffy white clouds idly drifting by against a sky of azure blue. The bus wound its way around the narrow S bends and switchbacks and before long we had arrived at the frontier with Indonesia.  After formalities I WAS BACK in West Timor.  Huzzah! As soon as I had Indonesian phone coverage, I texted Edwin to let…

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Day 695: Gadzooks!

26.11.10 When I'm done with all this, I plan to turn The Odyssey Expedition into a board game. The ‘Chance’ and ‘Community Chest’ cards are going to renamed ‘Shipping’ and ‘Visas’.  I can plan for all other eventuality, but when it comes to shipping and visas, I keep getting dealt wild cards.  Take today for instance, instead of just turning up at 2pm and picking up my visa, there was a problem: I had no East Timor visa in my passport. I roll my eyes. YES THAT’S BECAUSE I’M AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT COME HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD FROM MY OWN FREE AND FAIR COUNTRY TO SEEK ASYLUM IN YOUR COUNTRY WHICH HAS NO FREE HEALTH CARE, NO WELFARE STATE AND THE FRAKKIN’ DEATH PENALTY. WOOP WOOP WOOP!! Or I could – could – have two passports.  Maybe. Oh.  We need both passports. I didn’t read this…

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Day 693: A Red Background

24.11.10: Today’s adventures centre around my efforts to get a new Indonesian visa. Indonesia, being a bit of an awkward sod, only allows you to pick up visas at certain border crossings, and the one from East Timor ain’t one of them.  So in order to get on with the next stage of the journey – overland and overseas to West Papua – I need to totter off to the Indonesian Embassy here in Dili, fill out MORE BLOODY VISA FORMS and wait a few days for my application to be approved.  Ho Hum. So I get to the Indonesian Embassy bright and early.  I took a visa form and was very careful to fill it out in BLACK INK (blue ink is NOT allowed – they take this very seriously) and then handed it over with a passport-sized photo of my mug – you know,…

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Day 692: The Moral Landscape

23.11.10: What’s worse than having to get up at 5am for a bus?  The bus turning up at your hotel twenty minutes early!  And then beeping REALLY LOUDLY, waking everybody in the neighbourhood up.  Well, possibly not, the people of Indonesia have such an amazingly high tolerance of noise, you’d swear they must be deaf.  It might be an idea to ship all those whiney tossers who buy houses on the Heathrow flight path or apartments above city centre nightclubs (and then, predictably, moan about the noise) to one of these 17,000 islands and fill Britain’s noisiest homes with Indonesians. Completely unprepared, I sleepily threw all my stuff in my bags like Winona Rider looting a Chinese laundry.  I fell back asleep as soon as I clambered onboard and didn’t really wake up until we reached the border at noon – all I can tell you…

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