Okay, so the week started out good. I had my appointment at Immigration at 10:00 am on Monday. Our temporary driver Fauzi picked me up about 8:45 and we went to the office before heading out to Immigration. Scott was a little late coming out of a meeting and was concerned that we would not have enough time, remembering that it was at least an hour drive when he went to get his KITAS done. However, Fauzi is on the A-team of drivers. He is constantly taking us by way of the least traffic. Needless to say we arrived with a few minutes to spare.
It is hard to describe this government building. Tucked away on a very narrow street it would be difficult to guess that it was Immigration except for the sign and the people milling around. It could as well have been a clinic. I took no pictures there just in case that would be a bad thing. We had been warned by email on Friday to plan for a long wait. Unlike Scott’s first time, at least we knew exactly where to go and who the agent was. We climbed three flights of stairs to the lobby where we were to wait. Government is government no matter what country you are in. The waiting area with the molded plastic chairs could have been a very old rundown DMV. People waiting look the same, the blank stares, bored and yet impatient, defeated by the fact that it will take as long as it takes and there is nothing that can be done about it.
We met the agent and he moved us to a different set of chairs. He took another woman and her child to the back office and less than 5 minutes later came back for me. I was very thankful I did not have a little one that had to be photographed and fingerprinted but the 18 month old was very entertaining. There is no language barrier to understanding when a child is done.
The back office was no better than the lobby. Peeling paint, rusting file cabinets, ancient metal desks and what seemed like twice the workforce for the amount of space. There were several agents like ours standing around as well. I am sure that palms were greased in order to expedite our appointment but I really don’t want to think too much about that. It is their culture and middlemen are everywhere. It is something that I will have to come to accept and perhaps participate in. Needless to say, picture taking and fingerprinting went by as quickly as the computer could handle it. (Scott jokes that it was a 286 computer. Of course that dates us incredibly.) Then on to the next desk to sign papers I couldn’t understand and voila…finished! So much better than Scott’s appointment. Done in less than 20 minutes! Hurray!
That was the good part of the day. The frustrating part came from the apartment hunting side. We started negotiations on an apartment that fell through. Scott was very disappointed. I think he was mentally unpacking. Although I am still enjoying being pampered by the Shangri-La Hotel, Scott is about done with hotel living. Tuesday we went back to the drawing board and started looking at apartments again. Unfortunately Scott was called away in the middle so he did not see everything there was to see. So we will hopefully see a few more soon. We had decided on one complex that has the best facilities, health club, personal trainers, swimming pools, restaurants, convenience store, hair salon, spa, pharmacy, etc. However, I saw an apartment in another building that has very little in the way of facilities but is connected to a mall that has all of that and more. We have a lot to think about and very little time to decide. We should start negotiations on another apartment by the end of the week.
As they say here a lot…..no worries.