Opiskelijat bloggaa

Just a minor nuisance

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:

  • International Passport
  •  Visa approval
  • Invitation from NYP
  • Insurance
  • Flight ticket

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!

< Kaikki merkinnät


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