Overcast and frozen.
Well I leave for India in a couple of days for my vacation and I only remembered the Visa in Friday afternoon.. thanks to Taji! So I took yesterday (Monday) off and decided I’ll go into Seoul and plead for a Visa for this coming Thursday’s flight. After travelling for five hours on three buses, a subway train, and a cab I arrived at the Visa Application Centre at 1pm.. just in time to see the last staff member go on lunch break. So I waited around for an hour and went back to the Centre, they said that a foreigners’ Visa application takes seven working days and that can’t be changed. The only way to change it would be to go to the Indian Embassy and get written permission. So off I went to the Embassy – which happened to be just across the road (thankfully). I was talking to the front receptionist guy and it didn’t look like he was going to let me talk to anyone.. that is, until this guy came in who looked a lot like Sanjay Dutt and told the receptionist to let me downstairs.
I went downstairs and met with a guy named Mr Das. He looked me over a few times and had a look through all my documents and in a snobby Indian accent said to me:
“You see, here’s the problem.. what is your nationality?”
“Australian”, I replied.
“..and before that?”, he said.
“None, I was born in Australia, you can see it here on my Australian Passport”, I said pointing to my picture in my passport.
He looked at me over again and said “see here’s the thing, if you were Pakistani then we would have a big problem”
“Pakistani? I’m not that’s why I have the Australian Passport” I asked incredulously pointing again at the Emu on my passport.
Finally after consulting with some other guy Mr Das wrote a little note on my application to rush the order and have my passport ready by 11am on Thursday morning. Now I went back to the Application Centre and gave them the note. They told me I had to pay a processing fee and a rush fee which could only be paid in person at a bank ten minutes away. Off I went to KEB and paid my 140,000won, then walked back up that hill to the application centre to give them the receipt. They lodged it, I waited for about 20 minutes and then finally I was beckoned and told that I can come and collect my passport at 11am on Thursday morning. My flight being at 3pm and check-in at 1pm means that it will be a rushed trip!
By this time the clock had chimed 3pm and I was starving. I saw an Indian restaurant called Chakraa and so I decided to treat myself to a Thalli meal. I thought I could catch the bus at 5pm back to Yeongwol and I’d be back at home before 7pm. I went to the bus terminal and asked for he ticket only to be told that the 5 o’clock bus had been cancelled and that the next one after that was the 7pm bus. I took it in my stride and went to watch a movie (New Moon, it’s great btw). I came out of the theatre just in time to catch the bus, but found that I wasn’t feeling the greatest. Something was wrong with my stomach.. it must’ve been something I ate.. It must’ve been the Indian! So off I went on the 2.5hr journey to Yeongwol feeling worse and worse as I went. Thankfully there was a 9:40pm bus to Sangdong, which gave me 20mins to visit the loo before another hour on the bus. Finally I got home at 10:30pm.
I got into bed sleep cold and clutching my stomach.. singing ‘happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me’, and so that ended the day I turned 24.
So that’s my sop story.. I hope you liked it!