15 Jun 2018


It seems to me that I always start my weekly report with the weather ! It had cooled down and it's difficult to dress, because it's very cool in the mornings and sometimes gets hot in the afternoon, so it happened that I changed 3 times per day ! And I am not a princess !

In our painting class we had since the last 5 years 3 classmates who died of cancer at a rather young age just around 60, and yesterday I was informed that our beloved teacher had passed away too, after a long battle against cancer. I am so upset ! Millions are spent to discover the moon and there is not enough money for researches to be able to heal a cancer !

 On Saturday is the incineration and instead of a wreath one of us had the great idea to let us paint on a canvas a little flower and sign it. This "painting" we will put on the coffin.

My friend Chris had got it too, and so sudden. I finally could visit her at home and was a little worried to see her, because she had told me that she had lost 20 kgs and she wasn't a big woman. But I was so happy to see her in such a good shape ! She really looked good of course more than slim, like some models today, I told her she could now work for Dior and we laughed. She still has some treatments because there is one metastases left. But she has no pain and apart from feeling quickly tired she feels good. All good news and I was really happy for her. I stayed for 1 1/2 h and then left, because I saw that she was tired. But we had a lot of laughter together and that was good for both of us.

My Russian Visa adventure continues. Finally we had all papers and sat already in the car. I typed the address in my GPS and this stupid thing didn't find it. My friend tried with hers same thing. I checked again the address and found two post codes. I tried the other one and it worked !! Why having two post codes ?? To be sure about the office hours I called before starting our route, and was told that the office is open from 9 to 6 without interruption from Monday till Friday. Just before ending the call the girl said in a very strong Russian accent that today the office is closed !!

I wanted to check on my computer and what did I see, it was the Russian National Day and everything was closed ! Can only happen to me. We will give it another try today !!

As it was early I went with my friend to the Indian shop she had never seen.

She was delighted of what she saw and bought a few little things to offer to friends.

After the shop we were hungry and had the first mussels of this year ! The national Belgian dish : Mussels prepared in different ways, natural, with white wine or à la provençale !  We took natural.

Two days later we tried the Russian Visa center again. It went smooth until very close to the indicated address. Poor Mrs. GPS had to find ways and ways to get us there because there were street works everywhere and we turned around in circles. Finally we found it but no parking of course and we had to walk for 10 min. The office was on the 5th floor and when we arrived there were just one person at a glass protected counter. Nevertheless we had to take a ticket like in a butchery on a Saturday morning. There were two counters with one French speaking elderly lady with an awful accent which I could hardly understand and the other counter was occupied with a young English speaking lady. Fortunately we had all our documents in English and ready. So far so good. But then she said that we had no statement of our bank that we dispose of enough money. We didn't know that and it wasn't mentioned in the list. I told her and she answered that's because we are retired ! She was very friendly and printed out all bank address nearby. Unfortunately mine was far away. But the girl found a solution, she said my friend could add me on her statement and with a declaration that she will take care of all crimes and debts I could cause.

Off we went to the bank which wasn't nearby and  again full of street works We were in a hurry because the Visa Office closed by 2 pm although it was written that they are open until 5 am !
While I was sitting in the car in front of a garage entrance, there was no parking space, my friend went in the bank and asked for the requested attestation. Then we returned to the Visa center ! I stayed again in the car and Bunny gave her paper. Suddenly she came back with a letter I had to sign, apparently my passport was damaged and I had to declare that it hadn't been damaged by the Russians !

Of course when your passport is 9 years old and has 9 Egyptian Visa stamps in it, it doesn't look very new ! I signed and she returned again. And then came the bill ! We had to pay 126 € (146 $) per Visa ! I thought with the Football (soccer) Worldcup they will become rich  ! There is around a million  of fans going to Russia right now !

When finally we were at home at 2.30 pm, we were exhausted. We had left home at 10.15 am !!


Andrew said...

I am so not going to Russia. Why do they make it so hard to take in foreigners and foreign currency?

Phoebes World said...

Cancer is a beast..Im so sorry for your losses. I am one of the lucky ones. A beautiful painting to celebrate a beautiful life
Getting a visa is a nightmare.. no matter where you want to. Im so glad I dont want to go to Russia...coming to the US was hard enough..lol
I have been to Brussels a few times..but never tried mussels (Im not a fan of shell fish).. but I would love to visit the Indian shop
Have a wonderful weekend
Phoebe x

Ann said...

I am so sorry about your teacher. Also about your visa headaches!!

William Kendall said...

The Russians seem to be going out of their way to be difficult, aren't they?

Barbara H. said...

What an ordeal with the Visa! I'm so sorry about your teacher. What a neat and fit tribute to have the class paint the flower sign. I'm glad your friend Chris is doing well and I hope her cancer treatments kill the cancer.

Tamago said...

I’m so sorry to hear about your teacher. Painting of flowers is such a thoughtful and sweet idea. I hope your friend Chris will beat the cancer. Glad you enjoyed fun time together xo

diane b said...

I hope dealing with the Russians on your trip is going to be easier but somehow I don't think so. Sorry to hear about your art teacher.

Maribeth said...

I cannot believe the Russians and their Visa Robbery! I certainly hope that the trip is worth the money and the pain in the neck you have had!

Susanne said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friends and teacher. That is a lovely & meaningful tribute your painting class made. Praying your other friend has full recovery! What a lot of hassle with the Russian Visa.

Loree said...

I wonder if all the football fans had to go through so much trouble to get a visa for Russia.

Wendy said...

So sorry to hear about your teacher and your friend. Cancer is such an awful disease. That was a nice idea of doing the painting together as a tribute. Often here at funerals now people make donations to a particular charity or cause instead of buying flowers. They look lovely but then they are just left to die. Such a waste. I hope the Russian visa saga is now over and you won't have any problems when travelling. It would definitely be interesting to know what the football fans had to do.