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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Visas, visas, visas

The nearly never-ending saga continues! I picked up our passports from the Azeri embassy - where somehow Sebastien's visa was issued but mine was not and dropped them off at the Mongolian embassy. Our Mongolian visas (which have an efficient process when you pay double for them!) should be ready tomorrow! Then I just have to take my passport back to the Azeri embassy and hope they issue my visa quickly. After that, we will FINALLY have all our visas. Just in time to get on the plane on Tuesday.

The Azeri embassy wasn't all bad, the consular officer gave me a map of Azerbaijan and told me I had to visit the tomb of Timur aka Tamerlane (a Central Asian conqueror) in Uzbekistan. While odd that he was touting visiting a different Central Asian country than his own, I still thought it was friendly of him!

Side note: Apparently, there was a legend that whoever disturbed the tomb of Timur would be punished. In 1939 the Soviets decided it was a good idea to exhume Timur and two days later the Nazis invaded the USSR. According to my research on Wikipedia, apparently the Soviets reburied Timur with a full Islamic ritual in 1942, which happened right before the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad. Moral of the story - don't mess with dead conquerors who promise wrath will be unleashed upon you if you disturb their eternal slumber.

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