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  • Writer's pictureRCS Ottawa

Traveling while African and trying to appease the visa gods

I had spent close to a week in Bangladesh presenting and participating in the Dhaka Literature Festival in November 2015. After the trip I took a few days off to tour Singapore and Malaysia—both of which I fortunately did not require a visa in advance. My return flight to my hometown, Nairobi, would transit through Istanbul. There was an unavoidable 24-hour layover that the airline would compensate me for in the form of a five-star hotel room during my long wait. I got to Istanbul—exhausted and eager to get to my nice cozy hotel room, shower, and sleep off my jetlag before my long trip to Nairobi.

Airline officials assured me that all I needed to do was get my one-day transit visa for Turkey from a little machine. The first question on the screen read “Are you a citizen of the USA, UK, Germany, France… Chile, South Africa?”

I am a Kenyan citizen. Full Story

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