Saturday, September 27, 2008

Registration Paper

I packed my suitcase, picked out a nice comfy outfit and checked-out of my service apartment. The 1.5-hour cab ride the airport made me nauseas but I didn’t care because I would wake up to Malaysia and have myself a steamy bowl of Kuay Teow T’ng for breakfast. Got to the Bangalore airport, checked-in my suitcases and got handed my boarding pass. I proceeded to the custom. The man behind the counter asked for some registration letter and I was like, what the eff is a registration letter. Within seconds, his entourage gathered around him, exchanged some Kannada words and next thing I know, I was taken aside to talk to a higher ranked officer.

Apparently, if you stay more than 180 days in India, you have to register with the Police Commissioner of India. I wasn’t planning to stay more than 6 months but my Indian visa is valid for one whole year so there’s a tiny print that says, “register in 14 days on arrival”. I’m f**ked. I begged, pleaded and told them I have left the country once to Singapore not too long ago without any issues, but there was no way out of this especially with all the terrorist attacks going around India.

I didn’t board the plane, but my luggage did, so the airline people had to delay the flight to remove them. When I eventually spoke to (or yell at) my lawyer, I found out the registration process will take about 2-3 working days, and since my flight was on a Friday night and lawyers don’t work on weekends, I will not be able to get home in time for pre-Raya festivities. Bummer.

I don’t know which is more upsetting; the fact that this country is so paper-driven, my overpaid lawyers are incompetent or that I forgot to read the fine prints.

"it's like fine prints appearing out of no where, throwing a curve ball at you", says Joe Win.

Part 2
Just my luck, the India government decided to declare Monday as a holiday. I have to pay a late fee to the nationalized bank as a penalty but the bank is close on Tuesday because of "Half-yearly closing of banks and Real Time Gross Settlement Holiday". Eid (or Adil Fitri in Malaysia is a holiday for Government offices in India) will fall on Wednesday. Thursday is Gandhi's birthday and also a national holiday. In conclusion, the earliest I can submit my papers will be Friday and processing takes 48 hours, which means earliest I can get my registration papers is Monday evening, but that's not even finalized because who knows what else might come up? *vomit*

"Man.. u r getting a taste of Indian red tape ;(", says Sajeed.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Candice, sorry to hear about the hassle. Yes, you are right, it is paper driven country. Hope your 'letter' comes thru(i had to do the same for my daughter(US citizen), when i went to india to live 5 years earlier). Its a pain, but didn't have a choice.

Cheers
- prem(Y!)