When I got up yesterday it was cold, grey and wet. I ventured out to take the number 18 bus to the Wellington suburb of Karori, where the Russian Embassy sits up on a hill. Inside the consular section it was, at least, dry and warm. AND.... success, my passport was returned to me with a visa covering the nine day period of my forthcoming visit to St Petersburg and Moscow.
I now have visas for Russia, India and Vietnam. Everywhere else I'm going I can just turn up and be allowed in. In fact, I could do the same with India. There's a new scheme being trialled, whereby citizens of five countries (including New Zealand) qualify for a visa on arrival. The cost is about the same, but I felt I would rather know for sure that I have the visa in my passport before boarding a plane to Mumbai.