I should have declared The Netherlands embassy my sworn enemy as I have never had any luck with them whatsoever. Last year I applied for a Schengen visa because mr.mck was going for a training and I decided to join him, and it took the consular here in Aberdeen 2 weeks to proceed the visa. By the time I got my passport and visa back, mr.mck has come back from Holland with gouda cheese.
This time, he has found out earlier he has to make another trip for a meeting, which conveniently is only a couple of days before our holiday. So instead of leaving the cold icy Aberdeen on Friday 6 AM, he could sleep warm and nicely the night before in Amsterdam, wake up in a more sensible time to catch the flight to Singapore at 10 AM. Knowing this, I quickly decided to join him as well. With three weeks left in my hand and complete paper, I marched down to the Netherlands consular and told the nice lady who served me that I wanted to join my husband to Amsterdam, stop over for one night before continuing our journey back to Asia.
She produced the infamous black book, read it thoroughly, found Indonesia on the list, looked at me and said that the visa process will take 5 weeks. 5 weeks!!!
I said it used be 2 weeks, not 5 weeks. What changes? She shrugged and gave the official answer, the process of ensuring my passport is clear to enter the other Schengen countries. With Switzerland joining the scheme, maybe it takes longer as another country must ensure I am not a terrorist (my thought, not hers). I tried to reason by saying with 5 weeks, it means I would never ever be able to join my husband to Amsterdam. Ever. He wouldn’t know his trip 5 weeks ahead. Even that, he would only get approval from his boss for ticket and accommodation only 2 weeks prior to his meeting. She said she couldn’t help me, because holiday and visitor visa isn’t business, isn’t making money, isn’t urgent, unless somebody dies. I almost said that could be arranged but I bit my tongue and excused myself.
She then gave me an insight, that marrying a British should make this easier, as I wouldn’t be a burden to the Netherlands government (her words, seriously!), as UK government will be responsible for my existence. But even that, she cannot guarantee it will take less than 5 weeks and she is obliged to say 5 weeks nonetheless. Then she suggested me to become a British, as it would save me from a lot of hassles.
Like I don’t know that.
Disappointed because I only could see the Schipol interior, again, for the hundred times, and wouldn’t be able to meet my cousin, I then proceed with our Cambodia trip. I know that my husband needs a visa, so I went to the Cambodia embassy in UK website and was delighted to find that they have the e-visa system which allow us to apply electronically. No frills, Stuart gets his visa in 30 minutes. Half-heartedly, I checked again the explanatory and couldn’t find Indonesia on the list. I did some research, including sending urgent email to my travel agent, wondering if Indonesian needs a visa to enter Cambodia. This is our first trip to the country, and we thought since it’s part of ASEAN, plus it’s right next to Thailand and Vietnam, the rule will be the same, he needs a visa, and I don’t. But no, surprisingly Indonesians do need visas to enter Cambodia, so I frantically apply for my own and got it in 30 minutes. I was so glad the embassy here has e-visa system, as in Indonesia it takes 3 working days and more expensive cost!
Days after our trip is fixed and arranged, I started making arrangement for another trip in June. But with my UK visa valid until September without the possibilty of renewing it earlier than August, I might have to, again, cancel the Euro trips and just take my friends down to Edinburgh and London. I tried to contact the Italian consular in Edinburgh but my email was ignored, probably because they think I’m too daft to understand the rule of having the UK visa valid 3 months from the departure date from Schengen countries. I am waiting for French consular’s response, wich I don’t think will change everything.
I envy Singaporean. Their lives must be a joy since they practically could travel anywhere without having to go through the painful process of applying for visas.
Who says holiday is fun? It never is, for an Indonesian…..
- What A Difference A Nationality Made (1)
- What A Difference A Nationality Made (2)
- What A Difference A Nationality Made (3)
Note: the image on the teaser is courtesy of Embassy of Indonesia in Washington DC.