Bike-Ride To Australia Thursday 5th-January 2012 Dhaka. There were no rats at breakfast this morning, maybe because I was later than normal. I wasn’t in any rush to get to the Chinese embassy, just in case my application had been rejected! And besides, I didn’t have to be there until after 10.
I arrived at the embassy around 10.30, and there was no queue this time. I walked straight in. My heart was pounding, I was really nervous! But to my delight and surprise, I was handed my passport, with the Chinese visa attached inside! Yay, I was finally off to China! Well, on Sunday, that is.
After receiving my visa, I returned to the travel agent. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that part of the problem in obtaining a Chinese visa was that I needed a return flight! And, of course, I won’t be returning. I’ll be going on to Laos. But you try explaining that to somebody who spoke very little English! But it doesn’t matter now. I’ve got my visa!
After showing the Tuc Tuc driver the way! A sure sign that I’ve been here too long! I arrived at the travel agent. Cashing in my return part of the ticket wasn’t any problem, although it did take a while. All the travel agent wanted to do, was talk and drink tea with me! Eventually, I had my money, but in Taka, which wouldn’t be any good to me, where I was going! So I went back to see Mr Ehsan at the NCC bank to change it into dollars. After more tea and another hour, the bank converted my money back into dollars.
Where’s The Day Gone
I’d wanted to start packing my bike up today. But everything has taken so long I gave up and went and sat at my new local! A tea stall along the main road near the hotel. Tunny, the owner, keeps giving me free tea! And no matter how much I try, she won’t let me pay. I think I might be drawing more customers in who are curious about me, so she sells more than she gives me. I love sitting there talking to the various locals that come along. Many of them have seen me walking about and like to come over for a chat. They all tend to ask the same questions, what’s your name, what country are you from and how old are you? But that’s okay, it’s always nice to be spoken to, and they all say thank you very much when I reply.
I went to my usual café opposite the hotel for supper tonight and was joined by a local exporter, who specialised in exporting food. He was a nice chap, and I had a good conversation with him. He even paid for my supper! Speaking of supper, it usually costs me about £1, apart from at that KFC last night, when it was nearer £4, but that’s the western influence, I suppose!
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