Thursday 21 December 2017

Musical chairs

In order to live in India you have to register at the immigration office within two weeks of arriving. On  the advice of other expats, we were up early with bags stuffed full of food water ,iPads and toys , ready for our appointment. The whole family has to go and with previous knowledge of "are we there yet?" (Milo ) and "how much longer now? " (Milo) , we mentally prepared the boys for a long wait and a new experience . We all took bets on the way as to how long we would be - Arjun ,the driver, said 4 hours and various other hours were proposed ( some new friends were 6 hours!) and we set off on the journey through Bangalore to the city centre at eight o'clock.
The traffic was like any other city , queued, stop and start , except there are wandering cows on the road here. It took over an hour to get there so not too bad.We met an advisor who checked all the paperwork before we went in as they are not allowed to accompany us inside. So fingers crossed off we went to the building.
The first strange element was the guard at the door with a rifle propped against the door frame who pointed to the right of the room where there was a long line of people sitting on chairs. The chairs went along one wall and up to a desk where you could get a numbered counter. To get the counter everyone had to play a game similar to musical chairs. The person at the front stood up when told to get their photo taken and to get a token/ counter and then moved to the correct desk in the room. Meanwhile their seat was now empty so the queue all moved up a seat as did everyone down the line. It was all very ordered and pleasant and it meant you got to sit , also the system was fair. After half an hour of seat hopping,  we then moved on to the main waiting area. The boys started on their picnic  ( too early we thought but they reckoned they were hungry!) and we settled down to read and watch what was going on. The system now was like the post office within an electronic voice "ticket number 6 please "and so on. Andrew had not read it all properly as  the person with number 6 did not appear and we commented in a negative manner until ŵe realised a few minutes later that we had number six ,and seven ,eight and nine! So he dashed out off to hand in the forms . After another hour it was all done and we were set free and,  clutching the precious documents ,we surprised Arjun with a call for him to come and collect us.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...