Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Getting closer

My flight for Tbilisi is scheduled to leave tomorrow night at 2100h. This means that I'm down to 30 hours' time in the familiar West before I head out for the Wild East. And I'm currently riding out a shallow wave of apprehension.

The basic problem is of course that I have no visa. Apparently - both Georgian embassies I've spoken with have different takes on the matter - I won't be able to get a visa at the airport. Or I might be able to get a visa at the airport. I might need to have an officially notarized letter of invitation. Or I might be able to use an E-mail printout. Or none whatsoever may be required. In any case, the visa will cost $40. Or $88. Or £12. Or double those prices, because there is a Georgian embassy in the USA. Or $200, because I will be shaken down for a massive bribe. Or I won't be able to get one at all because I'm supposed to be visiting the country for 16 days, and they don't do visas that long.

You get the idea. I'm even a touch apprehensive that I won't be able to get any kind of visa at all and will have to return to London the same day, forfeiting a tidy sum of cash in the process. However, I suppose these are the risks you take if you go anywhere unusual on vacation. Perhaps I should have merely gone to London and joined a last minute tour group to, say, Egypt? Ah well, it's too late to change any of this, so I'm going ahead. (And then there's been a sudden 'benign' malaria (there are different types?) alert put out due to especially high mosquito activity in Georgia this summer - and heck, I don't even have a bottle of tonic water, much less proper prophylaxis!)

If anything, I don't expect I'll be able to update this journal for the month I'm out in the boondocks. Something tells me there isn't an easily available Internet connection on the Georgian Black Sea coast. However, you never really know. If there's anything the Moldovan experience of my friends and family has taught me, it's that things change more quickly than you'd expect in the ex-USSR, and that technology seems to usually be hopelessly outdated (ask me about the package my parents sent me in 1998), or much more modern than the USA (mobile phone systems are a good example of that).

Until I return, then, wish me luck!
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