Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday from hell

Some days one should not wake up and/or leave the bed.

The day started EARLY in order to catch the bloody 7.20 flight to Johannesburg and then continue to Maputo. That means waking up around 4.30 - 5 in order to shower, pack the last stuff and get to airport in time.

Only to get to the car and find that it had been broken into and the speakers stolen. Plus a "nice" square hole in our garage "wall". Great start of the day.

Then I get to Johannesburg airport and try to cash my VAT refund cheque from last week's short visit to Southafrica. Only to be told that it will take 8-10 WEEKS to get the cheque ready. Yes you read it - weeks not days.

Then I had a brief moment of panic while boarding because suddenly my passport was missing. How it managed to get to the very very bottom of my bag I don't know. But when I find it is when I realise that my valid visa for Mozambique is in my old passport that was replaced due to running out of pages. At home is that where that passport is. And I do not carry cash enough to pay for an entry visa since I know I carry a valid visa. Hurrah.

So when I arrive in Maputo I met a guardian angel in the shape of a guy called Simon who lent me money to get a visa and then waited for me to get Moz money to pay him back. Simon, wherever you are and if you ever read this - you restored my faith in humankind and the world this day.

Then I take a taxi to the hotel where I was booked. Given the nature of this day of course there was no room in my name, in fact all rooms were booked and no room for me... I managed to get hold of Miguel, the manager of the office I am to visit tomorrow, and we chased around for a hotel room. Eventually we found one. Boy am I going to sleep tonight and hope that tomorrow turns out different.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Really not very happy

Life sometimes. For various reasons we were in Southafrica last weekend and then reclaimed VAT for whatever we shopped. To be reimbursed in O.R Tambo (Johannesburg) airport. Great. The only problem being that when I now went to the VAT refund place here (am at airport in question in other words) I am told it takes 8 - 10 weeks for the refund cheque to be ready... talk about trying to discourage people.

And more headaches: yesterday we had a really nice day at Rocklands, the kids swam in the pool and Mia and I just relaxed. Came home, watched TV and all that. Only to find out when we headed for the airport that thieves had neatly cut a hole in our garage wall, managed to open the Corolla and steal the speakers. So now we have a square hole in the metal fence "wall" and I hate leaving Mia alone with that kind of problems.

Well well, Maputo here we come.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Computers and Mana Pools

Just a comment on the sometimes somewhat weird world that happens to be my profession. As I work on my laptop that has Kubuntu Linux as OS I sometimes need to run various versions of Windows for support reasons. I do this by running something called VirtualBox - an environment where I can run other systems "inside" my Kubuntu main OS. That way I have Windows XP Pro, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista installed and can run them without rebooting.

Currently I am testing out next version of Kubuntu Linux, "Karmic Koala", to be released October 2009. And I find it so good that I write this, visit Facebook, chat and check one of my (many...) email lists from within the pre-release of Karmic. So I sort of swap between my main version and the new depending on what I am doing...

Otherwise I am really looking forward to go to Mana Pools next weekend for the annual Game Count. Feel in bad need of a break.