Monday, April 30, 2012

School: still not cool.

Today I went to the faculty of medicine at Khartoum University to meet a couple of people. I ended up waiting for about 45 minutes, during which I sat under a tree observing my surroundings, remembering my own college days (not so very long ago *cough*) and comparing. The overall look of things was shabby, and people in general were not as fine looking as before. I noticed a number of behavioural patterns during my stay:

1.       The female population is still divided into divas, nerds and ansar sunna

2.       If the fashion police were around, 9 out of every 10 people would be arrested

3.       Cats are still more at home at universities (and other governmental facilities) than people. I even saw a tiny little kitten with tiny blue eyes running around under the benches and around the garbage cans being trained iby her mother n the art of alsha7da

4.       Roughly 98% of the male population look under the age of 15. The remaining 2% actually have facial hair.

5.       Speech therapy is something that needs to be taught in all university curriculums. Girls still think that talking in that stupid mot7ankisha way is attractive and guys still use that fake sa3udi accent. Not attractive, people!

6.       People must have built a superb immunity against microbes unknown to the rest of the world just from the food they eat. We had a chicken sandwich in a paratha instead of bread, and the fries were picked out from a jerry can. Yes, a jerry can. An old one. Like the one they use to store sesame seed oil in and as a dalooka. At least they had the sensitivity to use a pair of tongs.

7.       Mafi girid ma shayil iPhone wala Samsung Galaxy something or another. Including those people that look like they can’t even afford their next meal.

8.       Sania is still around. And still single! But dang that woman is a looker!

I will take this opportunity to state that I hated my university days and am happy they’re over. Bala wenjala!

Friday, April 27, 2012

How to import a car in to Sudan

This applies to those returning from 3 years or more of working abroad and who wish to bring a car that is not a model of the same year. To do the above you will need the following:
1. A copy of your passport that shows proof of you having worked for at least 3 years
2. Cancellation of your work visa/residency (also on passport)
3. Letter of termination/final exit from the country you are coming from
4. Proof of the car being registered under your name and ONLY your name (registration certificate, exportation certificate, etc.)
5. The car model must be no older than 5 years preceding the current date (year of manufacture of the car as stated on the car body and NOT the car model)
6. Proof of clearance for taxes and zaka
7. When granted all exemptions and permissions, car must be imported within 6 months of your date of exit from that country

It is also vital that you have the following:
1. 10 shawalat sabor
2. 25 shawal 6olat bal
3. A car to get around these stupid streets
4. Money to buy gasoline for your car to get around these stupid streets
5. A whole lot of time on your hands to go back and forth and wait for people to come to work or wake up from the dead to sign papers etc.
5. A basket to catch your eyes as 3einak 7ata6la3 pretty much every day
Note: there are no fees for any of these processes in Sudan, everything is for free. The only fee is rou7ak 7atamrog

1. As soon as you set foot in Sudan you rush to almoghtarbeen and stand in line, pay all taxes, double and triple check what and how much they're charging you, get a) the clearance paper stamped and signed and b) a record of all your dues that should state 0 dues
2. In the same almoghtarbeen but in a separate building (the big white building that can be reached by the big gates) go the executive office (first door on your right) and hand in above mentioned documents. Keep a copy because they will collect the original as well as your passports. When approved by Sami (not terribly nice but not terribly mean either), he will then issue the certificate of exemption for the car model and then you will wait for Karar Altohami to sign it. I waited for 3 days for it to get signed.
3. After celebrating obtaining the certificate of exemption, get a copy, recount your documents to make sure nothing has been lost and then take above mentioned certificate to the main customs headquarters in Khartoum. This is located in Alhoria street, when coming from Alqiada road after Khartoum Hospital. Upon reaching Alhoria round about (you'll know you're there when you see millions of pedestrians crossing right in the middle of the round about) turn right and then first right. Beware of sittat alshay who will challenge you at every potential parking space. There are a number of buildings and entrances. This building is straight ahead, second block on your right and second entrance (big with reflecting doors and 3-4 steps). The guy at the reception will make you wait for about half an hour then notice you, take your ID and guide you to the 1st floor, where you will hand in all your documents as well as the exemption. If you don't have a copy they will make you a copy (well at least they did for me) and then will ask you to come same time tomorrow.
4. You will come same time tomorrow and find the papers sitting in the same place you left them. You will then be guided to the 5th floor, last office on your right where some guy will sign the exemption (this will require some waiting as well).
5. Take the signed paper down the corridor in the opposite direction, before last office on your right and hand in all documents. These will be collected, reviewed and you will be asked to come tomorrow, same time.
6. Tomorrow, same time (not guaranteed) you will finally recieve permission to import your car. The original will be sent to Port Sudan (as claimed) where your car will be let down at port. You will recieve a copy which you need to send to whoever is shipping your car for you, as well as keep a copy for your own records.
7. In case you are curious how much you will be charged in customs for the car, there is an office on the 4th floor, 2nd on your left where some guy with glasses will take a wild guess which is probably right.
There is a whole other process that follows arrival of your car in Port Sudan. I will share my experience once I go through it myself, Inshallah. Pray that I don't kill anyone or overthrow the government in the process.
Good luck!