Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Verbose visa-giving

"verbiage" - an excessive number of words used to express an idea. -verbose -verbosity

Verbose visa-giving

Every time I travel to Singapore to renew my visa, I always have a tough time re-entering Malaysia. I've never had any problems with the Singapore side, but exiting and entering Malaysia sometimes feels like trying to part the slim sea between these two countries.

The venturesome immigration official at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex flips through every page of my passport, as though trying to find a fault with my international movements.

I'm asked various questions about what I'm doing in Malaysia, the perfectly viable validity of my last visa, and why I don't just renew my pass at the Kuantan Immigration.

"Erm, because I want to visit Singapore...I have friends here (I really do)...because the Kuantan Immigration tells me I have to leave the country after each time I get a sticker from them..."

It seems that there are so many various immigration policies in conflict between Kuantan and the CIQ in Johor Bahru, that it causes great confusion to the innocent traveller. Or, the officials don't really know how to do their job. I'd side with the latter.

After I've been questioned, the onslaught of verbiage between the officer and the boss, whom he has consulted, could last as long as 5-10 minutes while I stand at the counter, waiting.

The end result is always the same: I receive my 3 months visa which could have been done with much less verbosity, Singapore-style, in say 30 seconds.

Since 2002, I've filled an entire passport and am half-way through another.

How many passports/pages have you got through in your lifetime?


  1. wow, they give you a hard time there... I guess you're used to it by now... but that kind of stuff is not something that you should be getting used to.... Good Luck - keep up your positive attitude :)

  2. We used to live in Kluang from 66 to 69, and the flour we purchased in Singapore used to be smuggled in to Malaya (as it was then) by putting under the rear passenger seat and then me and my brother would be encouraged to be sleeping through the journey as customs wouldn't disturb a child. Loved it there and at some point in time would like to go back and visit xx

  3. Haha...well, with four children, you could say my life is a passport. lol I do have a passport. Sadly, there's only one entry.

  4. Love this story - it kind of reminds me when I was living in Poland and had lots of Polish red tape to chomp through! :)

  5. That was very funny, in a frightening and semi threatening sort of way.
    I have had 3 passports in my life. One was a family passport which I had as a 12 year old with my sister and parents. It was a big deal to go to Europe, and we followed my father's army trail for the most part. He had been 19 when he fought in WWII. You can see him on youtube if you type in Robert C. Baldridge, WWII, I think.
    Then I went again the next year at 13 with one of those fancy tours--we went on the SS France to get over there, and we girls lived in a picturesque house in Normandy. I was too young for this and spent the whole time reading T.H. White's book about Merlin, the Once and Future King, and eating meringues. I was an ungrateful little sot.

    I went again between marriages (I have presently been married to my husband Jim for 21 years) so that was in the eighties. I stayed at my cousin's apartment that time on the left back in Paris. Oscar Wilde had lived in the same building at one time and it was incredibly atmospheric. This time I fell in love with everything although the first day I had insisted upon wearing high wedge sandals (I was proud of my legs) and I spend the rest of the trip hobbling around in my friend's borrowed sneakers. I am a homebody but I remember everything about those trips as if it were yesterday. The first trip we did go to England and at that time we were able to go right up to Stonehenge and wander around. That was awesome. I love Spinal Tap and cannot help but think of it every time I think of Stonehenge however!!!
    Have a good day!


  6. I am getting close to filling up my passport. I need 6 pages for my next trip for visas (India, Bhutan and Nepal). I dont know why 6 for 3 countries, but thats what they tell me. I have 8 pages left so I am OK for this year.

    Next year???

    How many passports have I had? A lot...my first was at 8 months old when my parents and I emigrated to the US from Germany.

  7. Barbara, yes, I'm well seasoned to this visa palaver each time I go.

    Sage, sounded like you lot were tricky customers!

    salarsen, I'm guessing four children keeps you occupied enough!

    Talli, good memories we make each time we travel!

    Jean, thanks for the lengthy comment, I think that must be the longest comment I've ever received here :) My two grandfathers also served in WW2. It's a very great experience to be well-travelled. Sounds like you've had some interesting times!

    Sig, you're going to have a great time travelling to that region of the world. Perhaps their chops are large?

  8. I travelled a lot in my 20s and my passport got impressive with all the stamps, but not so much anymore.

  9. Lynda, travelling does become more tricky when you've grown up and have family..

  10. I can totally identify with your post. I have done this very crossing quite a few times myself when I lived in Malaysia. I am about to do one the coming weekend.

    But now that I've moved to SIngapore, things are simpler.

  11. damyantiwrites, thanks for stopping by. I'd imagine it would be much easier living on the Singapore side!


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