Saturday, February 05, 2005

I learned this week that Fiona’s visa application has been refused. No reasons have been given. That’s that – she won’t be able to come out as planned, indeed as suggested by our GECOL liaison fella, Ali Sed. We had planned that she’d come out and stay for four weeks. Naturally, we were both looking forward to this. A lot. And now we are… disappointed.

One feature of life in Libya, especially any kind of official contact, is for the visitor to be totally scoobied by what’s happening. So much seems to be down to the whim of a particular bureaucrat. Is he some kind of apparatchik, who doesn’t like the thought of western rapprochement? Or a religious fundamentalist, a beardy-weirdy, ditto? Or was he just in a bad mood that morning – thirty-something, still living with his parents, slept in and missed his morning tadger-tug?

Sentences beginning like: “But surely…”; “Wouldn’t it make sense to…”; If they want…” spring to mind. Forget about it. The only way to get through the day, through the week, through the months in Libya is to forever remind yourself that nothing is sure here, nothing makes sense, and not everyone wants you here.