Vi är några golfspelande vikingar från Norden som lever en del av året i Mozambique. Golf och glada kvällar med god mat har vi gemensamt. Tre gånger i veckan spelar vi på Polana golf i Maputo. På fredagar blir det Caipirinha i en liten trevlig restaurang vid inloppet hamnen? Det gillar vi, men som omväxling tar vi oss till grannländerna, som har toppen fina greener och utmanande fairways. Syd Africa och Swaziland.
On Tuesday Leif and I went to Swaziland to play golf. We stayed over night and played at Ngonyeni golf resort on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. We had our own chalets with all comforty in the resort. The place is one of the best in Southern Africa. In the evening the golf restaurant made its best and offered the most delicious peppersteak in long time. From the open restaurant deck we had beutiful views over the river and the 18th whole as well as over the darkening savanna.
Travelling in Africa differs in many aspects from travelling Europe. The journey itself is part of the goal and exitement. On the trip to Swaziland I had a situation with the mozambikan immigration on the boarder. They told me that my visa had expired two days ago! Halloo, that’s not possible I protested. And then followed a long animated discussion that I lost at the end. The tree month visa that I bought at the Mozambican Embassy in Stockholm show it is valid from 26.1.-25.4.2017. I thought it was the timeframe for entering first time, because I presented flight tickets showing that first entry is the 28th of February. At the end I had to admit that the timeframe in the visa actually means the limits of the stay.
Of course it made no logical sence, but the situation is what it is. I said repetedly that i am confused. Two days time 40 euro makes a penalty of 80 euro. And then an other 80 euro next day for a new visa. I handed over the money and the two officials went to a backroom to process the documents.
In the meantime Leif and I discussed the situation and concluded that two days penalty is nothing compared to 40 days if we had not been going to play golf. Always something positive in a bad situation.
But then came the first surprice. The officers came back with my passport and with my money!!
They smiled and said that they feel that I should not be penalaised, because of my misunderstanding! They stamped my passport and off we went. Of course I thanked them for their understanding.
I could not beleive it. We had met the first understanding immigrant officers ever in Africa. Halleluja! Life is good!
And now comes the second surprice. Driving uphills in beautiful mountain landscapes in Swaziland, i cooled down and started evaluating the visa problem with open mind. Something is wrong, the timeframe for a 3-month visa can not be three months. There must be flexibility! So I checked the 2016 visa in the passport. And then suddenly it stroke me – the handwritten ending date is not number 4 for April, it is an open number 9 for September! Which looks like a four! Wholy smoke! The 2016 visa was clearly from Jan to Sept in numbers.
Third surprice. On returning to Mozambique I went straight to the counter in Immigration and presented my passport. I did not see the officers from yesterday. The lady at the counter looked at me and asked if the date is a four for April? No i said, it is nine for September! Okay, she responded and stamped my passport. Halleluja! Life is. Good!
By the way, king Miswati III of Swaziland has 15 wifes and 25 children. We saw him shortly behind black glasses in a black BMW in a car convoy with lots of polices and blue blinking lights.
What do we learn? Yes, do not accept your passport in the Embassy of Mozambique in Stockholm, without checking the correctness of the handwriting!