Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Slow Change

Surreal experience at the Sri Lanka High Commission today.

After being greeted by a metal detector (which I already expected) I walk into this tiny lobby where about 30 people were queuing up in no particular order hoping to reach one of the reception counters. Which one I should go to wasn’t exactly clear, as counters 1 and 3 had a paper sign out of a dot matrix printer that said, respectively, “Passport Renewals” and “Birth/Death Certificates”, none of which were the purpose of this particular visit, so I decided to push my way around to counter number 2 which read “Please Pay Here”.

The place was so hot it might as well have been a sauna. A tiny third world oasis right in the middle of London – were it not for my formal work attire which made the whole experience miserable. But thinking about it now, if you come to London from Sri Lanka you probably don’t need an air conditioner even in the summer.

So after handing in my papers and paying for the visa fee, I am told to wait. After waiting there for a few minutes I’m thinking that they are probably going to process the visa on the spot and call me in for an interview as they are doing for most people waiting there. That would be good news, since the website says it takes a couple of days to issue the visa. Well, after 15 minutes of wait they come back with my change (£7) and a receipt – passport to be collected in two days. 15 minutes waiting for my change!! Feels just like home.

1 comment:

Edmund Yeung said...

Hey man, you need to edit your profile on the right there. Living in New Zealand... ??? haha.

Good to see you are doing just fine and having a blast!