Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Third Postcard From Visa Limbo

Here's the weekend, so it won't be here before Sunday. I need to go into the office Sunday, and, as Tony Soprano would say "get my arms around this thing".

I'll have 48 hours first, though, when nothing can happen, and I can get back to the MA. I had a dreadful meal tonight with Dan, who once ran an MA programme in Thailand, and got a big wake-up call from him. He reckons a lot of people fall by the wayside at this stage in their MA. Another thing I need to get my arms around.

So I've unpacked some books. Tomorrow and Saturday, I need to bash out a thousand words or so, make a definite start with the limited resources I've got.

But back to the dreadful meal, which was in a cafe restaurant which will serve as a metaphor for this trip to Libya. First time we went there, in a kind of suspended upper floor, it was really good. Clean, good service, good choice of food and the meal was very good. The next time, there was no vinegar in the condiment set. The waiter was one of those pain-in-the-arse over-friendly phoney bastards who wouldn't let us eat in peace with his false bonhomie and stupid jokes. The third and last time, tonight, there was a dreadful smell about the place. Only Swamin kebabs were available. It took me an age to pay: I told the cashier what we'd had, and he shouted at the waiter, who brought the exact same meal he'd brought to our table half an hour earlier, this time as a take-away, and seemed to have no idea who I was.