Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo Lome Togo West Africa Thursday, May 31, 2007
I went to the Ghana Embassy at 8:00 am when it opened, received a Visa to Ghana the next at 10:00 am. It is relatively easy, 12,000 CFA or about 25 US dollars for 30 days.
It was fun; I paid 400 CFA for a Motorcycle Taxi from the Hotel to the Ghana, Embassy. I am finally deciding, the most I have paid in Lome for a moto in the city is 600 CFA and the normal is fee 200 CFA providing I never ask the price before I get on the moto.
I needed four photos and one man had problems because of having a smaller photo, I am not sure, I was lucky to have two sizes of photos, I am carrying a lot of photos, however now I need a bigger size also to carry.
I took along an Hotel address to stay in Ghana, or the address of at Hotel, I am not sure, I think they needed it, but hard to say, I am not clear. I know the last time I entered, they needed a Hotel name and Address.
This was painless and interesting, some man from Australia, not too well dressed, wearing sunglasses or hanging his sunglasses on the back of his neck filled out the application in Green Ink. The one man came out and hollered at him, I gave him my black pen and thought; you do seem like a Green Ink type of person. The young man argued with the official man and I also thought, this is a great way to wait for a Visa for weeks.
The Sunglasses man was a volunteer, and I think every other white person in the room was a volunteer; we had time to talk because the made us wait for unknown reasons from about 8:00 am to 9:20 am when a man appeared.
I will never forget his words, - No Visas today, I am already too tired. -
When I make an application for a Visa, I always allow close to five days of play time, I have discovered anywhere on the planet the application for a visa is a lottery on how the rules are enforced. If you are willing to wait, they will figure out how to give you a Visa.
I have three months to enter Ghana, after that, the Visa expires.
I repeated the too tired already to another person later and he said, - Oh, he is not too tired, he is waiting to hear, I need it today. - Then the man did this little hand gesture, I think it is the universal way of saying how to give a tip to the man. He did a twist of his hand, then goes submarine under the table.
I do not know, the man did look tired, the day before was a Fete or Holiday, this was the first day after a long holiday weekend, and for sure the man looked like he was dragging. I did not expect to get a visa the same day, so for me it was irrelevant. I truly believe a person should never plan to get a Visa in less than five days or they will be in a world of trouble. I never expect an rules or guidelines of an embassy to be obeyed, followed or to be professional, I am talking about all embassies on the planet, including the USA.
The Togo, Embassy to Ghana was nothing like the Ghana Embassy in Delhi, it was obvious here they were issuing Visas on a regular basis, and they were going to issue Visas. The Delhi, India Embassy serving the India people had this long list of onerous requirements and who knows which ones they would or would not enforce.
There are more than I would ever expect India people coming to Africa to work or live, I do not understand, they seem to come to manage a business, and there is less competition for workers or it is easier for them to find a job here in a way. Not really logical and common sense, but true there is more work here for people from India than in India.
No Visas today, I am already too tired... a great line.