Adventures at border control and in Joburg…
- Not the best photo this week, but it kinda fits the mood.
- After a few weeks of mystery I can now tell you what we’ve been busy with and why we’re off to London… we’re part of the Barclays fintech accelerator powered by Techstars this summer.
- Spotted this cool GUST Pay drawing – related to our new office space in London.
- Monday, print shop admin, breakfast at Lazari with Georg, last minute packing/moving (mostly just dumped everything in the boot of my car), flight to Joburg (stormy turbulent take-off) and then to London with Werner, he was not impressed with gluten free meal, watched Her… good movie – food for thought.
- Tuesday, arrived in London, LHR Terminal 1 at around 7:00, spent 12 hours at UK border control, 21:00 flight back to Joburg, phoned Anton – looks like we’d be spending some time in Joburg. Watched 3 Days to Kill… good movie – I think I have an obvious soft spot for these Taken’like plots, I was actually happy to get some airplane food and slept well.
- Seems we’re not Jason Borne. UK Border Control did not want to let me in because I had a business visa and not an entrepreneur visa (which I only discovered there – more about this later). They did not want to let Werner in because our Techstars invitation letter was not on a letterhead – and it did not seem to help that the Techstars people phoned them. At least we were not deported – just refused entry. Thanks for checking, Jacques. The security people at border control were actually very friendly. The border control people just took a long time to figure what they wanted to do.
- I guess you could say we started our Techstars team building programme a bit early. Nothing like a bit of a prisoners dilemma experience… 6 interviews of telling the same story. There were quite a few people passing through – mostly asylum seekers from places like Serbia – a restaurant owner from Brasil and a few Americans students who did not have visas for their internships – the one girl was there for more than 24 hours. I’m pretty sure I read every English magazine in the place and had about 8 hot chocolates from the vending machine – and some instant curry. The closest thing I’ve experienced to being in a prison. No phone, no internet, just a room with no windows for 12 HOURS.
- Naulene took Mia to get her UK visa on Tuesday, thanks Naulene. Seems Cath also had a visa appointment at the same time and they spent about 2.5 hours waiting in the same room/queue without much to say to each other. Best friends for one summer.
- Wednesday, arrived back in Joburg around 8:00, sense of humour failure – I logged into the UK visa application website to start the process of getting a prospective entrepreneur visa and then noticed that my previous application was also for a “(Business) Prospective Entrepreneur” visa, appointments made and original letters Fedex’d, Gautrain to Sandton, first Skype chat with Mia (since leaving), a beer with Anton in Nelson Mandela Square, pizza with Anton and family – a quick visit from Ernst.
- Thursday, sunny winters morning in Joburg, visa paperwork, a beer with Anton and Werner, sunset walk around Greenside, dropped Anton and family at the airport (off to Zanzibar for a long weekend), a Chivas nightcap.
- Jonathan coach die Lions Rugby Span
- 1300 Facebook friends, 901 Twitter followers.
- Friday, GPS’d our way to Sandton City for breakfast, visa appointment – Fedex docs arrived just in time, updated some SSL certs (just in time), Anton’s GPS took us for a tour of Rosebank and Melville, Hyde Park mall visit, So Yum with Ernst and Thomas, no fun (decaf) vanilla lattes at Seattle Coffee, a beer at Craft in Parkhurst with Ernst and Werner.
- Ernst has a theory that Noakes is busy with a “long con” – and will possibly kill a lot of folk with even higher fat diets.
- Saturday, omelette at Dopio Zero, added a few photos to Anton’s photo wall (note to self: make photo wall), epic braai at Ernst’s house – pomegranate salad, filet, rugby and springbokkies, I remember playing this Leonard Cohen song: Diamonds In The Mine, Saturday night adventure around Joburg, good fun – thanks Ernst.
- Sunday, spent most of the sunny winters morning just chilling on lawn, a bit of FB stalking, Werner reminded me of the Coincidence Design story, pizza in Greenside with Werner, watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – pretty good, Fathers Day Skype chat with Mia, photo processing and blogging.
- Let’s see if I publish the next post from London.
Have a fun week, crazy kids.