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30/7/2005 - So much for that|
Well that was a good theory. So on Monday morning I went to get my passport and residence permit to go and enquire about the return visa, and get papers to extend my visa. Alas, they were gone. The plastic pouch containing them, and Terry's stuff was nowhere to be found.
Our best recollection is that we saw them last Thursday night. I'd said then I might to to the FRO on the Friday afternoon. Terry thinks I took them Friday morning, but I don't. If I had, I'm pretty sure I would have just taken my passport and residence permit. Anyway, two days of frantic searching ensued, but finally we've had to accept that they are gone - who knows where.
I've reported the loss to the police, and told the FRO. On Monday we are to visit Chennai (that's Madras in British Empire speak) to go to the British and US Consulates respectively, to start the process of getting new passports.
The Australian kids visited the week before. We'd met them with their parents earlier in the month, and then again at TGIF. They'd cajoled Terry into letting them come and stay the night. Apparently the three of them had a whale of a time, and I have to say that the two of them were quite charming.
19/7/2005 - Legal Again|
Our paperwork finally came back from Delhi. So now we're legal again, but I find I am no further forward. I have no endorsement on the visa in my passport, just a stamp on my residence permit that says I can stay here until the end of the year's extension I applied for. This is of course, just around the corner, on September 17th.
My choices remain pretty much what they were before. I can go back to England and go to the Indian consulate in Birmingham to get a new employment visa. Or now, I can apply for another extension, and presumably wait for almost another year until it comes through.
One other possibility was mentioned that I had not been aware of before. Apparently, during my legal period here, I can apply for a 'return visa'. So a possible strategy is to apply for the extension, and also apply for a return visa so I can visit England - returning before the 17th. I shall try this, what's to lose!
15/7/2005 - Another Wedding|
July, already! So what's new? Well, I'm now officially down to half time on the project I've been working on for almost a year. I had hoped that would give me time to take some days off so I could do some writing, and simply spend some time doing nothing, or exploring parts of the city I haven't touched. But it looks like that's not to be. Another project has emerged in its place - an interesting one too, so I guess life will continue as usual. Apparently my visa extension has now been processed in Delhi, and it now on its tortuous way back via the state of Karnataka to the Bangalore Police Commissioners office. It will get there at about the time I need to be applying for the next one.
The wedding was considerably up-market on the one we attended previously (Asha's). It was at one of the larger hotels out by the Taj West End, whose name now escapes me.
Unusually for an Indian wedding, there was a bar, and there was even someone there that we knew to talk to. The food was good, and altogether it was quite a pleasant trip out. Thanks Balbir.
I'm still having problems with the new camera in large rooms under low light conditions. I took several photos at the wedding, but only one of them was close to useable. I guess I need to read the manual and find out how to make the thing give itself more exposure or sensitivity or whatever.
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