An Englishman in Taiwan

Friday, October 22, 2004

Why I hate embassies

Ok, I'm in Bangkok. Great city, lots to see and do- shopping, food, bars . Am I able to enjoy these delights? Am I? No.

Why?

Visa visa VISA. For those that don't know, I'm currently in the no mans land re a working visa for Taiwan. My school has a license to be a school but, unfortunately, it's the wrong license. So... they are applying for a new 'right' license which means that I am unable to get a working visa.

It follows that around the 20th of each month I have to leave Taiwan and visit a Taiwanese consulate in a nearby country. After the fiasco of last month's run, when a one day trip to Hong Kong turned into a five day hell journey, I decided to pay Thailand a visit in the hope that the land of smiles would be more accomadating (+thailand is slightly better to get trapped in with limited finances than HK).
I arrived in Bankok late last night and checked into a hostel on the famous kosan road (one of the best people watching places on earth). Awoke this morning and set off to the embassy armed with everything i could possibly need to claim my less than brilliant one month visitor visa.
Traffic sucks.
Arrive at the embassy at 10 am all prepared. Fill out the form, stick on the photo and take my ticket. After an hour of reading dozing reading dozing my number is called and i go up to the glass partitioned desk - I hate having to put my ear in the holes of these things (i'm sure they talk quiet on purpose). Deja vu happens again, I'm asked the same questions that i've been asked so many times before and am finally told to come back at two thirty to collect my visa.
Drink coffee and eat a sausage roll, read, doze, read.
Go back upsatiars at 1.30 - in case my visa is done early - take another ticket and another seat. read, doze. My number comes up in about 20minutes. I go upto the desk expecting to pick up a nice new visa and am told that the 'boss' wants to interview me.
'Ok' i say trying to look nonchalant as small beads of sweat make their way slowly down my back. This has never happened before. I take my seat again and wait and wait and wait, the whole time cursing my school and trying to imagine the conversation that will shortly take place between myself and the'boss'. His questions, my answers.
My interview number was 13 - didn't feel confident.
Anyway, after a wait that probably seemed longer than it actually was, the tannoy tinily requested a 'Mr Cwomey come to the interview room'. Feeling my heart racing I went in.
He asked me exactly the same questions as every embassy person before has asked. There was nothing new. All that sweat for nothing. Why? Why? Why?
So, I have my month visa and two days to enjoy myself - met a friend from back home who's out studying in Malaysia and here for a break so i'm sure a good time'll be had.
See you next month Embassy.
I just hope my work permit's ready.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Young Auntie said...

Mike! Really! Spelling! Atrocious!!! And you a teacher too! And of English!!!!!
Accomadating (para 2)= accommodating.
And 'upsatiars' (para 5 or so) I presume ought to be 'upstairs'. However I'm very fond of you so I'll say no more about it. R.

3:11 am

 
Anonymous M said...

'Atrocious' is maybe a little harsh for too small speling eroros. The orijinal post was writen in a busy and bustling internet cafe in the hart of Koh San Road(Bangkok)(Thailand) with a beer beside me.

Not an eggscuse but a reason (i'm actually quite proud to only make two mistakes).

I'm also fond of you so i too shall say no more about it.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of the blog.

3:59 pm

 

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