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A Satsuma

posted 9 Mar 2020, 11:17 by Buddha Maitreya   [ updated 9 Mar 2020, 11:17 ]

I picked up a satsuma and put it in the top end of my bag, jumped in a taxi waiting for me and went to Newark train station. The train took me to London Kings Cross and from there I took the Piccadilly line to Heathrow airport. Not long after getting on the tube, I suddenly realised that I didn’t bring my India visa for a two week stay for teaching, what a mistake! What can I do? I wasn’t panicking but felt utterly lost as there was no time to go back and get it. There was nothing I could do, I just sat in a desperate situation and spontaneously opened the palms of my hands and placed them on my lap in Cosmo mudra, embraced the universe and breathed deeply. Universe was there in one whole and complete state but a tiny problem was still at the bottom of it. I then had a feeling of hope that I might get some solution at the British Airways airport information desk. The one hour journey on the tube was like travelling through a dark tunnel. At the BA information desk I explained my situation whilst he checked my passport. I told him I had been in India last December and he checked the Indian immigration stamp and said it is okay as your visa is valid until 24th October, 2020. I said ‘Wow, that is wonderful, thank you’. I was relieved and felt like the dark clouds had cleared up at once and a vast blue sky appeared. I was totally liberated, I was so happy. I went to the BA desk for boarding and presented my passport and explained the visa situation and that there was a stamp from the Indian immigration office that issued the visa and that it is valid for one year. The assistant checked on the computer and then picked up the phone and was talking for quite a while. It normally just takes a minute to get a boarding pass but he kept punching the keys on the computer whilst still talking on the phone for several minutes. He then explained to me that because of the Coronavirus outbreak the Indian government has made visas issued before 1st March invalid for Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Italians. ‘You can not travel today’ the door was shut in front of me once again. I asked him is there any way I can get a new visa quickly and he replied it will take three days. There was nothing I could do but go home. I took the tube to Kings Cross, train to Newark and taxi home. When I got back home I was very disappointed, I put the kettle on and made tea. I sat and opened the bag and took out the satsuma that was now warm thanks to a five hundred mile round trip to Heathrow and back. I ate it, it was sweet but a little bitter.

I know it is very unlikely the Indian government will issue a visa for Japanese at this stage, though I have lived in the UK for nearly fifty years I am still Japanese on my passport. I am a kind of victim of the Coronavirus!

Maitreya 06.03.20