Passport pages and catching up on news
Trip Start Feb 13, 2011
30Trip End Mar 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
Gold Crest Hotel
I walked across the street to the building housing the US embassy and took the elevator up. Leaving the elevator I was met by security guards who asked my business, phoned in, and then had me put my shoulder bag though a metal detector and turn off my cell phone.
A Mauritian officer of the embassy ask me through thick glass how she could help and I explained my need. She asked to see my passport and thumbed through it. "You already have had pages sewn in twice" she said, “that's the limit.” I asked if she would mind checking to make sure, and she agreed helpfully. I went back out to the waiting area where there were a few chairs. A few minutes later she returned and said they could put more pages in, but the officer in charge of such things was in a meeting. Would I mind waiting 10 minutes? I sat back down. About a quarter of an hour later an American officer talked to me, ask for the passport and the form I had filled out, and for 82 dollars. It used to be free to have more pages sewn in, but not anymore!
I handed over a hundred dollar bill. The Mauritius woman came back few minutes later and asked if I had exact change. I said I did not. She told me they couldn’t make change and that I should go to the lobby where there was a forex bureau and have them break it for me.
Down I went. Unfortunately the forex bureau, although willing to help, didn’t have change either. So I exchanged the dollars to Mauritian Rupees and went back up to pay in the local currency which was acceptable.
Our church service will be at 10:30 tomorrow morning, we’ll have lunch and then the Q&A session in the afternoon. It will be a pleasure to see the members here again. The Prodigues left at 19:30. I walked them down to the door and then walked down the street to the Happy Raja again for dinner. I’m not sure about the Raja, but I was happy. I eat lots of Indian food when I’m in Mauritius; it’s of generally excellent quality and less expensive than it would be at home.
I talked to my wife on Skype after dinner. It’s wonderful to be able to talk to her for free. We used to have to count the number of minutes we could talk because telephone calls are so expensive at this distance, but now through the Internet, we can talk as long as we like without cost. It was a very nice way to end the day.
Tomorrow will be a full day.