Not the Best Day of My Life

Yesterday was not the best day of my life. My Iranian visa appointment (to pay and have finger prints taken, it's already been approved) was supposed to be last week, but was cancelled. There was another opportunity to go last Sunday at 9am, but I decided that during the week would probably be quieter and less hangover-y. I doubt they're that keen on hangovers in the Iranian Consulate. So I went yesterday at midday. Three other ralliers were there, and a representative from the Adventurists. We waited patiently. And waited, and waited and waited. It was hot, at least as hot as Iran. The Adventurist always seemed to be next in line, but never quite got to the front of the queue. After a couple of hours one of our number got seen, and was dealt with in about ten minutes and left. The rest of us waited some more. A child screamed on and off. At about 3:00 two woman arrived, loudly saying they had appointments for 3 o'clock. At about 3:30 a very arsey English guy arrived, waving his number in the air and asking if everyone else had a number too. At about 4:00 our rep finally got to the front of the queue. A short discussion ensued, and we were told that we wouldn't be seen. It turned out that we didn't actually have an appointment, but had been promised one, unofficially, from the Sunday 9am session. I made my way back to work, arriving five hours after I had left.

The Iranian ConsulateHalf an hour after sitting back down at my desk, back wet with sweat, I received an email from the Adventurists with the subject line "Visas". But no, it was not in regards to the Iranian visa, this was an email letting me know that the Russian Embassy had returned my passport, sans visa, because there were not enough blank pages in it. The email went on to say that I would have to get a new passport in order to get my Russian and Iranian visas. Now the rally starts in three weeks, can you guess what passport renewal turnaround is? Yes, three weeks. A fast-tracked passport costs £130, almost double the normal price. I don't know why the visa service that the Adventurists offer, The Visa Machine, doesn't check how many spare pages you have as the first thing they do. I know I had at least one spare page available per visa we were applying for, I didn't know how many I would need in total. The Visa Machine website states

You MUST have 1 blank page free per visa (2 for some). A blank page must be completely free of all stamps.

The Adventurist I was emailing now told me:

The requirement of every embassy is to have 2 spare pages at the time of application.

I suggested they amend their website.

So, assuming everything goes ok from now on, I will have two passports, half of my visas in one, and half in the other. I can see this going down really well with customs officials.

Jamie

UPDATE: We have since been informed that the finger print machine is broken and we will be able to get a visa without going back to the Consulate. Result.