Zimbabwe Immigration

My shoes smell like tobacco; I’m wetter than I have ever been and my passport looks like a 5year old was playing with stencils. Yeah, not bad for a Wednesday!

Basically we went to get my visa extended or like they say here: add on days… I’m not really sure if that phrase sends out a friendly and warm feeling or one of incompetence but either way the people at immigration were amazing. They were super fast and very friendly, it took me less than 2 minutes from the time I walked into the building to the time I had the stamp in my passport. So all in all it took us 3h2min to get my visa sorted.

If you’re wondering where that 3hours magically appeared from, blame it on the South African embassy. It only took me 5minitues to get to someone who could help me but then they gave me directions that simply put: was wrong! So we drove around the wrong side of Harare up and down Nelson Mandela Avenue and pretty much got nowhere. After asking 4 security guards we ended up at immigration and the rest was a piece of cake.

Generally I’m not a fan of driving around aimlessly or being stuck in hectic traffic but today was different. Firstly it gave me and JS time to talk about some things we’ve been putting on hold, well at least it gave us time to openly admit that we’re placing them on hold until further notice. And the rain was just so unbelievable! Everything always looks greener when it rains and when the skies are so clear with cloud cover that you can see each lightning spark perfectly, it’s just magical.

I was just getting use to driving on these roads and dodging potholes, driving the same roads everyday you can easily become an expert but in the rain it’s a very different situation. This is obviously the rainy season here so when I say rain, you should think more of a river running down the street. It’s crazy and chaotic and absolutely beautiful! I totally enjoyed the fact that every time you pass another car you end up splashing a whole wave of rain onto their windscreen! I know that’s incredibly irresponsible of me since it is extremely dangerous but it just looked so awesome, I couldn’t help myself… Speaking of driving responsibly in Harare: it rarely happens! You’d think a place that has more than 13 driving schools will have safe and responsible drivers or at least ones who knew how to drive on these roads but alas, that is not the case. Most of the drivers here change lanes like headless chickens running around and the rest of us just have to dodge and I don’t even want to think about the traffic lights anymore!

One other cool moment that came out of this crazy rain is such an old school romantic movie cliché. Imagine massive puddle- like the ones you cannot walk around or jump over- and then imagine me in a long skirt and my knight in shining armour (or more realistically: leather jacket) pick me up and carry me over to the other side. He is so sweet! It probably would have been more effective if it hadn’t been for the fact that we were both already soaked from the rain…

Either way, we got my little stamp and I got to play in the rain, so it has been a pretty amazing day and it’s only 15:30! Oh, if you’re wondering why my shoes smell like tobacco: like I said, it’s the rainy season and here in Zim they have such an excess of tobacco materials that they choose to use it instead of fertiliser on the grass and in the gardens so every time I walk outside, I end up smelling like really fresh and wholesome…. Uhm… cigarettes?

It’s all good fun and I think this was the most pleasant visa experience I have ever had! Thank you Zim Immigration, you rule.

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