Monday, November 8, 2010

Visa Hassles

After arriving too late at the Indian embassy on Monday (yesterday) to apply for my visa, I returned this morning bright and early.  Upon getting out of the taxi in front of the embassy I was quickly alerted to my mistake - the High Commission of India (the embassy) doesn't accept applications for tourist, student, or business visas.  For that you have to go to their visa processing center in downtown Kuala Lumpur, not far from my guest house.

I took another taxi there - unfortunately they are not cheap here, I've wasted about $20 US so far taking taxis to the embassy and back - and located the appropriate forms.  After reading the 3 page FAQ and instructions on the wall, I filled them out and went to turn them in.

As I handed them to the woman behind the desk, she rather rudely informed me that my plans to go to India were thwarted by a rule which was just put in place yesterday, the 8th.  Happy birthday me!  Apparently this rule states that non-Malaysians who are not residents of Malaysia, cannot apply for a tourist visa.  She then told me that I could still submit my forms and pay the 150 ringgit fee (about $50), wait 6 days, check online, and hope that they would make an exception for me as they could do it on a case-by-case basis.  I thought it was pretty unlikely that they'd make an exception for me, and decided to save my time and money by keeping my forms and walking out the door.  She seemed pretty surprised about this, and I'm not really sure what she had expected after telling me that they don't give visas for people in my category, but I could still spend my money and give it a try.

So I guess my plans are changed once again.  Especially disappointing since I just spent $40 on a guide book for India so I could figure out how to get around - I've been told that although they speak english, the transportation can be extremely difficult to figure out if you don't have any clue beforehand.

I guess I'll be looking into south-western Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia for the next month or so then instead...maybe I can even see a volcanic eruption in Indonesia!

Going to meet Charlie to get lunch in Little India - 6 ringgit for an all you can eat buffet? Brilliant.  Then going with a couchsurfer that we met up with last night to go do a bit more sight seeing around KL...Malaysia is definitely more interesting than I expected though! And expensive...

That's all for now! Hopefully later I can get some pictures online...

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