Little things to remember (What not to do when travelling...)
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Just got into the room about 40 minutes ago. Total door-to-door travel time of 33.5 hours. Things to remember in the future:
When figuring out how much time you have left on your passport, remember to calculate based on the day you arrive in the country, not the day you leave your own country. My passport had 6 months minus 1 day left on it, so I wound up having to get a visa to enter the country (took quite a while (see next point)).
Have the contact numbers of your hosts on paper, not just in your email client. When you need to access it (at the visa office), there will likely be no internet access. Also, have printed invitations (emails, whatever) and conference schedules that you can use to demonstrate you really are going where you say you're going. Eventually the pick-up service at the airport was able to provide the information to the visa people that I didn't have. Sigh.
Also don't ask for internet access in your room if you want to get in quickly and get a shower. It can take an hour or two to get set up, during which they have you wait downstairs. Upshot is that they gave me an upgrade to a suite to compensate for the delay... it's a bit of overkill for someone who's better suited to bed and breakfast level accommodations.
In other news, as feared, everything went to heck at work the moment I stepped on the plane from Vancouver. Have to work on that now. So much for being able to explore the city before dinner (it's almost noon local time).
Plane ride was really, really, really long. After sleeping for an hour or two, then watching a movie (Transformers, pretty sub-standard), I was thinking we should be arriving any moment... not even 1/3 of the way yet. Tried to sleep the rest of the flight, but the turbulence just kept me slightly too awake to really feel rested.
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