Only in one place has the welcome been less than warm in welcoming her. In Kalambaka, a village in northern Greece, which is home to ancient Greek Orthodox monasteries built into rocks, the village council decided not to receive a “Muslim doll from Syria”, as the mayor described Little Amal.
It’s strange how intolerant the deeply religious can be.
Here’s a link to a series of photos of her progress across Europe.
I’m feeling rather sorry that I won’t be able to see her when she arrives in Manchester on November 3rd. I would have liked to be there but we’ll be in Portugal, assuming I get my Covid vaccination certificate sorted out.
Yesterday afternoon we followed the procedure indicated online to download a vaccination certificate onto the NHS app on our phones. All went like clockwork for Phil: certificate successfully downloaded. So did mine up to the point where it said “1 dose of 2”. So I scrolled down. No sign of dose 2. Hmm! Further investigation gave the advice to phone the GP. That’s a trial in itself: press 1 for this and 2 for that and 3 for the other. So I pressed the relevant number to request to speak to a real person. Tinkly music ensued and a repeated mantra: “Thank you for your patience. Your call will be answered shortly.” Finally I spoke to a receptionist who checked the records and told me that, yes, my records showed 2 doses.
That was the good news; the bad news was that they have nothing to do with the NHS app - I should phone 119, which I duly did. And I played the numbers game again and was thanked for my patience once again. This time the music was more strident! But eventually I got to speak to someone: a young man with good but heavily accented English who sounded for all the world as though he was working in a call centre, possibly in Calcutta. And the line was bad to boot! I kept having to ask him to repeat his requests for information.
The upshot is that I should receive a paper certificate (Did I need large print? he wanted to know, perhaps prompted by my date of birth. And did I need it in other languages than English?) unless I receive a text to say that they have not been able to issue one. So far so good - no text message. I should also expect a phone call from some other bit of their service to sort out the app side of things. So far, no phone call!
So here I am in a kind of certification limbo, hoping the young man understood everything that I said to him. Just a little travel nightmare! It’s a good job I am quite optimistic by nature!
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!