In the past three months I’ve had to visit the embassies/consulates of four different countries to either obtain visas to visit the respective countries or simply accompany someone who was planning a visit home. I must say that you learn so much about the culture of a country through the first impressions that you have at a country’s embassy. For example, I’m sure many of you can relate with what I’m saying when I refer to the ‘red-tape’ one experiences when waiting in line. How about the common ‘passing the buck’ service where you’re sent from one floor to another or from one phone number to another until eventually someone just decides to hang up on you. Perhaps the worst experience one can receive is when you’re totally ignored at your own nation’s embassy or asked to wait in line only to be told at 5:00pm that you need to return the following day as your passport is still not ready. Someone should write a book on life spent at the embassy.
Nevertheless, I think there’s such a gold mine waiting to be mined if only some countries took a second or two to rethink the way they handled and treated potential investors, visitors and especially residents. You never know what will happen if you just go the extra mile to represent your nation.
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I started a 14 day trip on Thursday and still haven’t reached my final destination. Nevertheless, this is a trip I’ve been looking forward to for a number of reasons none of which fall in the ‘blogging while in transit’ category. Either way, right now I’m at an airport cafe in Schipol, Amsterdam and am thoroughly impressed with the improvements made to easing communication needs at airports.
For years whenever I’ve traveled cross continental I’ve never truly enjoyed the entire flight. Perhaps, transiting in airports for 12 hours and dealing with weird immigration rules and restrictions prevented me from enjoying the trip to its fullest. However, after today’s launch of the Airbus A380 I definitely have to add flying on an Airbus A380 airline as an item to my wish list.
Perhaps the words of someone may help relay the point more effectively …
“For both business class and economy travelers, we will be introducing a range of new features, because as a small airline, we need to innovate. These will include a gym area, larger bars and a beauty parlour. We also plan to include a casino and double beds …”
– Sir Richard Branson
When I first came to the United States I always looked forward to the Winter season. The thought of Christmas, snow, holidays and pleasant cool weather often found me praising the season. Today I realized why some people hate this season. After landing in Calgary, Alberta Canada yesterday I was welcomed to -31ï¿½F or -35ï¿½C weather. For a brief moment you realize that irrespective of the Fahrenheit or Celcius scale they’re both a negative number which in layman’s terms or for those who don’t want to use the equation, F= (C * 1.8) + 32, just means cold. Thankfully, the city is blessed with lots of friendly people and they more than make up for the weather.
For the next few days I’ll be chilling in Calgary.