Good day to all reading this blogJ
At times I amaze at the thought that I am in Singapore now. It is already three weeks since I arrived. Being honest with you, I am enjoying every day of my stay here. It is my first time in Asia, and this country is a real discovery for me. Being abroad and immersed into other culture, you do not only discover the place, but learn something new about yourself.
I start appreciating this experience even more, when I recall the moment when my whole exchange trip, so strongly anticipated and thoroughly planned, could go down the drain in a matter of minutes.
Three weeks ago I was at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland. I arrived there early, and there was whole night ahead. I should have slept, but I didn’t. At first I couldn’t. Later I wouldn’t, as I was afraid to miss my flight, as my phone broke down, and I could not set an alarm. It was a very long day. I had been awake for 27 hours in a row by the time of my departure. Drowsy and heavy-headed, I walked to the passport control.
I checked all the documents one more time to make sure they are all there:
and handed them to the customs officer. I already dreamed of boarding the plane and falling asleep, but no
“Where is your visa?” – the customer officer asked
“It is there. Let me show you. Here it is.” - I handed her Student Pass approval letter from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.
She read through it and concluded – “This document does not grant you a permission to enter Singapore. Therefore, I cannot allow you to embark on the plane.”
“Next, please” – she said politely.
It was a bombshell. Departure is in one hour. My phone is broken and laptop is discharged. Most importantly, I had no idea of what document they needed.
I was no longer drowsy. In my head I am counting all the expenses which this delay will cause.
Just five minutes before that I was sure I had all the necessary documents, and now I doubted myself.
“No. I simply could not miss that” – I assured myself and joined the queue again.
It is my turn again. I pass the documents.
“This is the document you need. Please, ask from your colleagues.”
“Ok. Wait a minute.” – the officer replies
She makes one phone call, second, third. She was speaking Finnish, so I couldn’t understand a word. Her colleague comes – a senior one, I guess. They speak for a minute or so. The senior colleague goes away. I wait five more minutes. People queuing behind me are invited to another passport control desk.
Senior colleague comes back.
“Yes, your documents are fine. Sorry for the inconvenience.” – the customs officer said after a short pause.
What a relieve that was!
If I wasn’t persistent enough, I might have not been in Singapore now. Looking back at that situation, I amaze at how easily everything could go wrong. Anyway, always double-check important documents before setting off for a tripJ
Have a lovely day and see you soon!