Sunday, June 26, 2011
Step 1, a.k.a. the Chinese visa, is done.
Step 2, a.k.a. the Kazakhstan visa, is a big headache for me.
None of the travel agencies in Phnom Penh can help me. One option is to use a visa processing service I've previously used in the U.S., but that would require FedEx-ing my passport to Washington D.C. - a bit ridiculous.
I am left with two feasible options -- the Bangkok consulate or the Kuala Lumpur consulate. I've heard that the service in Bangkok is really iffy, with the consulate open only two hours a few days a week, with strict 5-working-day processing, strict application processing, and payment that would require me running to a bank and back to the embassy with a pay slip in the two-hour business window. Impossible.
So I am off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia tomorrow. I am working remotely. Maybe this will force me to write! The past few weeks have been rough for me. The meetings with shareholders have been deflating, with affected community stomping out, frustrated by the process and lack of progress. I'm attempting to buckle down next month, to focus on field research -- invariably long, draining days.
Ethan is coming with me to Malaysia. Next week, he flies from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, France to meet his family. He will traipse around Europe for the month of July, with a small climb up the Matterhorn with his brother. If all goes according to plan, we meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan in August.
My heart is a little heavy. I'm listening to Nouvelle Vague to pick me up, or calm me down.