Fo(u)r days in line

I sat on the ground, eyes closed, when someone stepped on my foot. At first I didn’t bother, but then it came again. I opened my eyes. There, beside me, was the cutest little kitten my eyes ever has seen. I lifted it up onto my lap, it lay down and closed its eyes and purred.

The time was 3:20 in the morning when I walked out of the house and tried to get a taxi. I had to walk for a bit since there were no cars out. A man swept the street and another opened the gates to McDonald’s. I didn’t really know the way to the embassy, but I knew which road I had to walk up to at least be on the right way. If there’s still no taxis out I guess I’ll have to get lost until I find one, I thought for myself.
Just as I reached the crossing where I didn’t know where to go a taxi came up behind me. I waved to the driver and he stopped. “Salaam Aleikum. l’ambassad d’Mauritanie?” I asked him. “Oùi.” he said and I got into the car. Ten minuter later I got out of the taxi and sat down in the line outside the embassy. There were at least twenty people sitting or lying down already, and more came within the hour.

At eight o’clock the gate finally opened. A dog scared the kitten whom I had named Kikärtan (the Chickpea) and it ran away. Then a man came up to me, and spoke in English “Miss, you know, you should go and stand down there by the other women. Then you will get the visa quickly.” I did. The girl in front of me held two visa applications, I asked if you could apply for two people. “Boyfriends yes, but no others.” I stretched up and waved to Cristian, he came quickly. “Give me your passport and papers, you’re my boyfriend now,” I told him. Half an hour later I handed in our passports, payed the fee of 680 dirham each for three months in Mauritania, and got the receipt. At three o’clock this afternoon we will finally have our visas!


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