Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My 7-Minute Meditation

As a spin-off of my last post, here's an interesting habit that I developed due to my travels. I can now rate how easy/hard it is to get into a country (i.e. the immigration part). So on a scale of 1 to 10, here goes:

The Swiss (1/10)
They don't even look at my passport, they just look at my residency card and let me go, one of the few countries in the world that doesn't even stamp my passport. Me likey.

The Schiengen States (Germany, France, Italy ..etc) (3/10)
They usually ask one question: How long are you planing to stay? I always like to confuse them by answering: I'm leaving next Thursday. I then pause and watch the officer trying to do some quick math to understand how many days is Thursday from today. It's very entertaining.

The Americans (6/10)
Very detailed, lots of questions: Why are you here, how long, where are you staying...etc. They are however very professional and the whole process takes under 3 minutes. I don't joke there, not after 9-11.

The Polish (9/10)
The mother of them all, basically I live and work there but still anytime I am entering OR exiting Poland I go thru a 10-minute process. This is how it usually goes: after the initial exchange of documents and Good Mornings, the immigration officer would then type in EVERY single detail of my passport and residency card into the Communist-era computer system. Then comes the dreaded 7-minutes of awkward silence, during that time the immigration officer would be mindlessly tapping on the keyboard until the Orwellian Central System would blurp an ACCEPTED or REJECTED on the screen. I haven't seen the screen but I'm assuming they'd go with the cliche big red/green bold letters.

Initially (the first dozen or so times) I was extremely annoyed by this wait, but later I started to appreciate this wait, it started to be my own little time where I meditate. It's as close to an Out of Body experience as I have ever gotten. Every single time I am waiting I am imaging the different scenarios of how I'm gonna go koko on the one immigration officer's ass who's going to make the fatal mistake of stopping me from passing based on a glitch in this crappy Communist-era system. Oh I pity that fool.

8 comments:

Munqy said...

You forgot Syria. What's your rating for a place that actually confiscates your passport until you leave the country?

Feshfesh said...

Oh. damn.

ShadShad said...

I agree with you, but the Polish process would take a lot less time if you spoke some Polish. I go through the same but it takes less time for me. U have been in warsaw foor ayear already and u speak like 3 words. Of course they have to get creepy on ur ASS.

Feshfesh said...

hehehehehe... thank you for reinforcing my point :)

Not only is the process a crappy communist-era remnant... it also depends on which language you are speaking?! wow! :))))))

...and HEY I know 7 words and here they are spelled phonetically:
1. Djen Dob-rei
2. Djen Koya
3. Barzo
4. Bez (very sexy word)
5. Nas-dro-via
6. P-she Pra-sham
7. Kurva

Anonymous said...

hahahah.what about the mentality of Poles? ;)
be careful whatcha sayin', i'm polish and i might kick your arse if u behave badly ;P


sutra

Feshfesh said...

hehehehehe, well it's tough to answer such a question about the mentality of Poles .....let me try and answer it like this:

it depends.

NileGirl said...

Here's another word for your list of Polish words: Chesht.

So, shallow question here, is it true that Polish chicks are all gorgeous? We have one in the family and she is. Makes me wonder if they're all like that. Nevermind...

Feshfesh said...

Man that's a very tricky question to answer. If I say yes, then I'll be mocked for not having a girlfriend here. If I say no, some of the people who read this blog (Kama) will kick my ass :D

Therefore I abstain.