Canada. Nearly…

What a surprise. Another holiday that didn’t go according to plan!

I went ahead to Florida to visit my brother, then was due to meet my lovely husband in Toronto.

Unfortunately the Toronto bit never happened.

The downfall was a simple Visa. I can get a Visa on arrival, but not everyone can. If you need one, you have to apply to the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi as Qatar don’t have an embassy…yet.

So off the application and passport went to Abu Dhabi,  3 weeks before we travelled. The visa should only take 10 days, so all’s good.

Initially things seemed to be going well. About 3 days after the Embassy received the application, they emailed to request additional information, but this is where things fell apart.

They said it was very important that you write the file number as the subject header. Unfortunately they didn’t actually give us a file number. But how do we tell them when their policy is not to answer the phone, and only to reply to emails if you have a file number?!

The answer is that you don’t and you miss your flight…and don’t go on holiday.

So…poor Felipe stayed at home, and I ditched Toronto and stayed in Florida with my family, then went to New York for a couple of days, before heading home a week early.

One interesting thing I learnt from staying with my family was why I swapped rooms with my brother when I was about 3. I remember it well – I was very excited about swapping rooms! I assumed it was because I’d nagged and nagged, but apparently it was because I used to wake up with the sun, and start singing. My brother’s room was on the darker side of the house and they thought it would shut me up! Charming!! (Obviously their ploy didn’t work though, as we swapped back about a month later.)

Anyway, I seem to be digressing. We still haven’t got the passport back from Abu Dhabi, we’re hoping it will turn up one day. The nice touch was when they emailed to tell us it was our fault…

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About Steff Gaulter

Al Jazeera English's Senior Weather Presenter
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