Bike-Ride To Australia 2nd-January 2012

Bike-Ride To Australia Monday 2nd-January 2012 Dhaka. Dave and his family left for England first thing this morning. And shortly after, I hopped into a taxi and headed for the Chinese embassy. There was only a small queue on arrival at the embassy, which moved quickly, and it wasn’t long before I was at the counter, all ready to hand over my pre-prepared visa form and photos.

That all turned out to be a waste of time! The man behind the counter explained that I needed to have a flight booked before they’d issue a visa. But if I’m quick and get back before midday, they’ll have a visa ready by tomorrow. That sounded good to me. I could be on my way to China on Thursday. I thought it was best to have a day spare, just in case they don’t get my visa ready on time. The man behind the counter also told me where I could buy my flight. And it was only just down the road.

Rickshaws
Busy streets in Dhaka

I arrived at the airline booking office on the seventh floor of an office block. There I was told that they don’t take cards. It has to be paid for in cash. And I’ll also need a receipt showing where I’d got it from!?

I’m Losing the will

After trying several banks, none of them would take my cards at the counter! But the ATM did, so I thought I’d have to see if the ATM receipt was good enough. Or maybe I’ll try paying in US dollars! Cash in hand, I go back to the flight centre, and yes, they would accept an ATM receipt. What a relief! I’d missed the noon deadline by now, but if I could sort this flight out today, I can get a flight later in the week. The next available flight wasn’t until Sunday, which was a bit of a bummer, but if that’s all they’ve got, it’ll have to do.

I handed my passport and the cash to the man behind the counter. He started to thumb through my passport, back and forth; he went through the pages. “visa?” he said. “Sorry”, I replied. Where’s your visa? I can’t issue a flight ticket without a visa!” “but I can’t get a visa without a flight!” I pleaded back. “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do without a visa. Try a travel agent!” not a very helpful chap at all!

There was a travel agent near my hotel, who were a lot more helpful. But they couldn’t issue a flight without getting a letter of encasement! Which I have to get from a bank! I’ve now got an appointment with a bank manager tomorrow. This is so much hard work! I just want to get moving again! Time for a beer!

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