Friday, December 9, 2011
Day 71: A Pilgrim Again
The wait is over, but the visa not quite in hand. The struggle's been a difficult one, due to the lack of infrastructure. Lots of misinformation out there, and a predictable level of extortion. People see dollar signs when the hear of an American passport. Lots of phone calls and faxes, but still no visa. Lots of waiting. I'm surprised and amused by the number of marriage proposals I've gotten hanging out in front of the Libyan Embassy... 'married at 5, on a flight to the US by 6'. Sorry fellas, doesn't work that way. I'm done with this life in limbo. I'm walking today. I'm a pilgrim.
The revised plan that precipitated out of the situation is that I'll enjoy the pilgrim experience of Tunisia. It should take around 18 days to walk to the border, mostly along the coast. It's the touristic area, and therefore I anticipate some degree of inauthenticity, but it shouldn't be crowded this time of year. I need to get back to the pilgrim life of 38 kilometers a day, new people to talk with every evening.
When I arrive at the border, I'll ask again for permission to enter. If they say yes, I continue; if they say not without the elusive invitation for a visa, then I'll make my way to a port and find a ship.