Dr. Katinka's practice

Time - From the fourth dimension

 Normally, we experience time as independent of the place where we are at the moment, at the speeds we are used to. This is mainly due to the fact that we associate the so-called causality with the time. The causality describes that an effect cannot occur earlier than its cause. With speed of light the thing looks already completely different. Time and place of an event melt together to space-time and form the fourth dimension. When sailing, we are far away from the speed of light and when going to authorities, on a long trip, even further, and nevertheless, on the Katinka, the fourth dimension sometimes seems very close to us. Namely, when cause and effect can no longer be separated. In this context, we have gained an additional insight compared to Einstein. The common consideration of place and time is meaningful not only with very high speeds, but also with extremely slow ones.

Mindelo, Cape Verde

We are now already four weeks again on the Cape Verde Islands. Sometimes I have the feeling that time, with increasing age, approaches the speed of light. But maybe it's just a feeling. In any case, four weeks ago, clearing in was very easy. A note at customs and one at the port police, fill out and already was the stamp in the passport. Valid for four weeks, it was said at the time, then come back. As a dutiful German, dealing with authorities and offices, learned through cultural and professional circumstances, in the home country, I go to the Immigration Office to extend our passports. The office is, despite business hours, closed. I go to the port police and inquire. Here I have to come back when I definitely leave to get my boat papers back, they tell me. Responsible for the extension, is the immigration. So I stand in front of the office and wait. After half an hour the official comes and explains to me that he is not responsible for the extension of stay. The Police National is the right contact. Unfortunately, the Police National is not located at the port but in the middle of Mindelo. So I let explain me the way and make me on the same. I discover a dream beach, snow-white and with turquoise water. I would have loved to jump right in, but an inner voice warned, first the work then the pleasure. 

Beach from Mindelo, Cape Verde

The Police National building is large and imposing. I am standing in a large reception hall. The lady at the reception is on the phone and just asks "Passaporte"? I nod and she points with an outstretched arm, into a corridor. An inner voice, from experience and foreboding, tells me you have arrived at the mills of the authorities. My feet come off the floor and I float slowly down the corridor to the passport office. Space and time become one. As if through a fog, I take in my surroundings. I sit down on one of the waiting chairs until it is my turn. This mode, inner calm, is something I have worked on in hard school, over years in my professional life. It prevents hyperventilation and helps to bridge the seemingly endless waiting. A professional group, will now not know what I'm talking about, the others, have certainly, one or the other time already experienced. Quietly, as if through absorbent cotton, I hear my call. I explain my request and am presented with a DIN A-4 sheet, on which all the necessary documents for the issuance of a visa are written. The visa is valid for three months and includes, among other things, the submission of a passport photo, proof of ownership of the yacht, and the details of father and mother. In addition, an amount of 2100 Escudos (approx. 20€), per visa, is to be paid. The amount must be deposited at a bank. Last but not least, the applicant has to appear in person for signature. I float out of the office, down the corridor, and stumble down the stairs outside, that I almost lie down lengthwise. I have left space-time, the fourth dimension, again. Disgruntled, I stumble to the next bank and get a number. 59, the counter says 54, that can't take that long. After an hour, I'm still standing in front of the door at 30°C and in the blazing sun. My skin is slowly turning red, despite the tan I've achieved in the meantime. Finally it is time and I can deposit the amount. I go back to the boat and grab Gaby and our bathing suit and lure her with the dream beach. Gaby does not like authorities and so it takes this trick.

Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Luz Mindelo, Cape Verde

On the way, I explain to her that we still have to go by the National Police for a signature. Entering the building, I hover again 20cm above the ground, past the receptionist who is still on the phone, to the passport office. Our passport pictures are pasted into the application, the signature is done, when the cloudy voice came to me, "Come back in two days, then you can pick up your passports". More than twice a day you can not go to this state, because it requires a lot of energy and concentration. Therefore, the distraction on the beach is very welcome and sets us up again for the day. The reason that Gaby persuaded me to stay on Cape Verde for four more weeks has the same effect on me as the resulting authority effects. In this respect it is proven that there seem to be at least exceptions in causality, which are not necessarily due to the speed of light. In this sense, we wish all crews in this world "Happy clearing in" and always the necessary patience with the relevant authorities.

Beach good, everything good

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