Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Watching Paint Dry – or Kuwaiti Visa Isssueing

Now the joy of arriving in liberated Kuwait fun ois only compounded by the complete beauracy of getting a visa upon arrival. Logic normally dictates that visas on arrival are issued in the arrival hall. But of course here in Kuwait the Visa issueing counters are in the departure hall, this is for visas to enter Kuwait you need to go to departures.

Here eight counters await, of which six were manned. Now do not assume that by simply being manned that that means that six counters are working to process the simple process of a visitor wanting to enter. No for fifteen minutes nothinjg moved except for the guy on counter two whose arm moved up and down as to allow himself to smoke.

The only sense of logic is that they at least have a numbering system, push the button get a number and wait,l when we arrived it was number 234’s turn and the machine issued me with the number 262. It was at this point that realized that I would havce ample time to write a blog entry as Andy and I have now been waiting 40 minutes and we have just hit 250, but as I write the buzzer is sounding more optimistic 251 has been called.

I love aspects of servitude here behind the visa man is a foreigner whose job it is, to walk and photocopy each passport, the Kuwaiti behind the desk arrogantly tosses the passport to the guy dressed in a waistcoat who walks to the end of the zone dutifully copies and walks back.

There must be a room somewhere in this country where hundreds of thousands of passport photocopies are stored, why copy the passport in a photocopy machine I suppose it is a simple matter of someones brother who was a Sheik owned a photocopy business sometime in the past and has the contract for passport copies, perhaps it is Kuwaits way of trying to diversify from exporting oil.

Number 256 … looking good

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