Missing in action: two passports
It all seemed so easy… just apply for a visa for Mozambique.
You can not apply for this visa at the border for a year now, but you must first request a visa at the consulate. We could have done this at the Mozambican consulate in South Africa, but that means that we have to stay in one place for one week and in addition we wouldn’t have our passports temporarily. Neh, too much hassle, as long as we can arrange this kind of business in advance, we’ll do.
We checked a few months ago on the embassy website how it all works and also checked the prices, 50 euros per person for a multiple entry visa. A lot of money, but we have included this in our budget, so it has to be. The visa is valid for three months after application so we have to wait with the application until a few weeks before the start of our worldtrip. We’ll first go to South Africa and after that probably to Mozambique.
Now finally the time has come! Again we check the embassys website, a new year and also new prizes … YAIKS! A multiple entry visa now costs no less than €120 per person!! We look at our travel plans again and decide to go for the cheaper one-time entry visa of €60 per person. Bugger.
We will send the application to the Mozambican embassy in Brussels. For this we do not have to go to Belgium, no, this is all possible by post. Easypeasy. We print out the application form and fill in all data. A copy of our entry and exit ticket must be included here. Ehm… we do not have that. I add a copy of our ticket to Cape Town and indicate that we leave the country by bus. Fingers crossed.
Furthermore, we need confirmation of a booked accommodation. Because it is Jos his birthday at the beginning of our stay in Mozambique, (hurray!), we made reservations for something special. We booked three nights in the beautiful Tofo Beach where, it seems, the whales jump right into your hammock. We are excited.
We make a request for a special invitation letter from this lodge, which we also put in the visa envelope. At the request of the embassy we also add a note of €10 for returning the passports by post. It’s so simple.
We transfer €120 to the bankaccount of the Mozambican embassy and print the deposit receipt, which must also be in the envelope.
And last but not least: our passports. With a fresh visa from the consulate of the United States, our red book now goes by registered mail to Belgium. Let’s hope that we get them back again.
After spending a week and a half in suspense, I decide to just call the embassy, because I haven’t heard anything yet. A friendly lady answers the phone and assures me that my passports were sent to me yesterday. I write down the tracking number, because passports lost in the post are most definitely trouble.
When we enter the tracking number on the site of the Belgian B-post, we see that our passports are indeed on the way. But when we see that the status has not changed after a few days we call B-post. They can trace the package to Amsterdam, but then they are lost. Yaiks.
With wet armpits we call the Dutch PostNL who give us a new tracking number. It doesn’t work yet, be patient.
We assume that the passports are indeed in Amsterdam and that we can follow them again after the weekend.
Meanwhile it is Monday and our passports have already been on holiday for 2.5 weeks. The tracking number still does not work and PostNL indicates that the package will be delivered no later than Thursday. That’s nice for a package that can not be traced.
On Tuesday, nothing has changed in the invisible status and again we contact PostNL. We get another tracking number, which shows that the package will be returned to… Belgium? NOOOO!!!
Well, at least we know where our passports are. Kind of.
I call the embassy and tell thr story to the lady I also talked to last week. I ask her to which address she has sent the package. She looks up for a moment, number 36 she says. Oh shit, that must be number 39. 36 does not even exist… that is why the package is returned.
A bit later she sends me a copy of the visa application form, I have filled in 36 myself! Oh shit 🙁
9 days left. Are we going to save it?