I’m still waiting for the arrival of the G passports. The Iraqi embassy in Amman told me today that they may arrive within 2 weeks time. The visa centre has some difficult demands: they require the original copies of my marriage contract (originally issued in 1997), University certificates and other similar documents. These copies should be certified by the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is located in Baghdad (about 600km from Basrah). One of my brothers should take them to the Ministry for authentication and ratification; such travel will be very risky in the current circumstances and they may get killed in their way to Baghdad. On Sunday, I will try to explain these facts to the visa centre in the hope they may waive such difficult demands. Otherwise, I may be forced to wait for some more time. In the worst scenario, I think it will not take me longer than September or the first two weeks of October to get everything done. Is this going to have any negative effects on my application? I hope Simon is doing fine. I’ve not heard from him since September 1.Reply from my colleague on campus:
Don’t worry about the university. We will cross those bridges when we come to them. Concentrate on your visa and get that through. If you need anything else from me in this regard just let me know. Re accommodation, the university does have an office dealing with that sort of thing so they can help you. It will be easier to sort this out when you arrive and I am sure that we could accommodate you temporarily whilst you are looking. In the meantime your visa is the most important thing to get right. PI cycled back through the town occasionally pinging my bell, to alert strollers. On the shop lined slope down narrow Odos Nikiforou Theotoki to the level at Odos Zavitsianou my front wheel jammed in a rain water drain. I came to an abrupt halt, dived over my handlebars onto the stone street, landing on my front accompanied by coins, cycle pump, a spanner and other objects from my pannier. I was helped up, handed my various objects and dusted down by helping hands asking solicitously after my well-being. How one’s heart warms to the kindness of strangers when in mild shock. ‘How did that happen? I’ve passed here many times.’ An old gentleman on a chair beside the street pointed out that only yesterday workmen had installed a new drain cover with a grid that all too neatly allowed my wheel to fall through. I laughed and said “but didn’t I fall well?’ I was so relieved to have no more than a tiny graze on my hand, though later my wrist and fingers ached for several hours. When I got back to Democracy Street Lin said Amy’d phoned to say she’d more or less passed the fitness test to be a Community Support Officer. There was a drugs test based on hair and urine samples which she should pass with ease unless, as misfortune would have it, they detect her contact with passive smoking at Glastonbury.