The story of “How I didn’t leave Pakistan”

22 06 2009

22nd of June, 07.20 AM: the date of my departure from Karachi towards Doha, then Istanbul, then finally Bucharest.

22nd of June, 04.15 AM: I’m on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. I change my Pakistani currency into dollars, I light up a cigarette and think of the great moments had in Karachi

22nd of June, 04.25 AM: I pass one security check point and head to Qatar Airlines officers

22nd of June, 04.30 AM: After I weigh my luggage I find out that it has 10 Kg over the limit and I start thinking of how much would I have to pay extra. The guy doesn’t let me finish my thought and comes up with something like 9000 Rupees the equivalent of 110 USD

22nd June, 4.27 AM: My sharp senses notice that when the neighbouring luggage of a fellow citizen is taken of from the weighing machine my luggage doesn’t have 10 Kg extra anymore but 6 Kg instead. I notify the guy from Qatar office and he seems to restart some calculations. The result: I don’t have to pay anything!

22nd of June, 4.35 AM: I got my Boarding passes and then I loaded my luggage on the outgoing conveyor belt and got my control receipts.

22nd of June, 4.38 AM: I’m heading towards Gate nr. 24 but first I have to pass Customs of course. There were 2 types of Custom wickets  – one for Pakistani passports and another one for foreign passport. I obviously chose the foreigner’s wicket.

22nd of June, 4.43 AM: I arrive in front of the Immigration Lady Officer, I show her my passport and Boarding pass. She looks through them and notices that my Pakistani visa expired a couple of days before. I say to myself that this shouldn’t represent an issue as I knew that I had a 2 weeks period to re-new it or leave the country.

22nd of June, 4.45 AM: The lady officer doesn’t seem impressed with my explanation and tries to say something but English was not her best ally right now. In fact her colleague from Pakistani passports tells me in a fluent nice English language to wait a bit.

22nd of June, 4.55 AM: After waiting for 10 minutes a mustached Immigration officer appears and addresses some questions such as “Who am I?”, “What was the purpose of my visit in Pakistan?” and some others. He also doesn’t seem impressed with my answers but now I already now that this might happen because his lack of English skills.

22nd of  June, 5.05 AM: After leaving for a few minutes with my passport and boarding passes he comes back without boarding passes, and with a big stamp on my passport: OFF LOADED!!!

22nd of June, 5.06 AM: The mustached dumb-ass (I changed his status meanwhile) tells me “Come, come!” and I understand I have to follow him. He takes me into a Customs office where there was another mustached officer and a guy with a pajamas blouse, bell-bottoms pants and slippers snoring his heart out on a couch. I repeat the same story over and over again to the new mustached dumb-ass (his status was also changed quickly) of course interrupted at some points by strong and loud rounds of snoring.

22nd of June, 5.20 AM: The mustached dumb-ass nr.2 finds himself in trouble with my case so he decides to wake up the snoring dude which in fact was his superior.

22nd of June, 5.20 AM – 06.20 AM: The snoring guy first wakes up, then he is updated on the issue, he barely moves from one end to another of the room, he looked for one pen for 5 minutes and solved nothing. He gave me back my passport, and said I cannot leave Pakistan since my visa expired.

22nd of June, 06.20 AM: a guy appears with my extra 6 Kg luggage which was called back. He hands me over a receipt and then asks for a tip, which of course in the heat of the moment I found it to be totally outrageous. I tried to say something to him but the only English word he knew was “tip”. Of course, I didn’t tip him.

22nd of June, 06.30 AM – 07.00 AM: I am on my way back to the Intern’s House where Jeremy greets me with the traditional: “What the hell?!?”

22nd of June: 07.10 AM – 09.40 AM: I went to bed dreaming of heading back to my country.

22nd of June, 09.40 AM – now: I checked with Qatar, I can leave Pakistan on Thursday, 25th, of course only if by then I get my visa extended (AIESEC is working on it). Qatar guys also became dumb-asses when they told me on the phone that my round trip ticket to Pakistan is expired since May  – and this considering the fact that the round trip on the ticket is 22nd of June first of all, and second of all – in the morning when I got my boarding passes there was no such issue.

LESSONS to keep in mind: Pakistan might be the only place in the world where if your visa expires you have to spend some more time in the country; the immigration officers are so stupid that they are not worth getting mad at; when people would ask me if I want to leave Pakistan then I would say for sure yes, considering that during the last week I kept telling people around me that I would wanna stay some more and here I am;

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10 responses

22 06 2009
Nicoleta

and if you were thinking that the experience ended, i think you should review your thoughts

I’m grieved hearing this, but still you should be happy because your wish did come true 😛 are you having other hidden wishes to share with us?

take care!

22 06 2009
Bogdan

Yeaaah! I want a million dollars!!! (What now? I just wait :D?)

22 06 2009
Jana

Cool… so at least I do get to say a goodbye to you… This must have been our destiny 🙂

22 06 2009
Noni

Face parte din experienta… ce puii masii te plangi atata ?
:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

22 06 2009
Nicoleta

=)) bine Noni, i-ai cam spus-o pe fata ;))

1 milion de dolari…nici nu ceri prea mult si nici ceva prea complicat… pana te-ntorci ii si termin de facut 😛

si eu care credeam ca nu esti materialist…na..k te-ai dat de gol :))

22 06 2009
Bogdan

@Noni: “puii masii????” wtf mate?!? go hang out with some guys :P. Just kidding. Da ai dreptate, part of the experience. Si tot part of the experience ar cam trebui sa scot vreo 300 de dolari din buzunar pentru un nou bilet, ce puii masii, doar!

22 06 2009
Catalin

Dude…!!!!!!!!!

Ba cum dracu ma sa iti expire visa si sa fii obligat sa mai stai o perioada…in loc sa te alunge te mai tin…eee acum o sa stii sa apreciezi ce se intampla in Romania si sa intelegi ca nimic nu e intamplator :)).

23 06 2009
Alex

Vai ce dobitoci. Sper sa iti rezolve AIESEC problema cu viza. 😦

26 06 2009
Rahab

Lol!!! So have you now left?

28 07 2009
Iulian

ce fada ar fi fost experienta ta fara asta… dar tu nu iti dai seama ce sansa ti s-a ivit. acum tu vei fi suparat vei incerca sa schimbi ceva si din 300 de dolari extra expenses vei face 1 mil de dolari!!!

tot raul spre bine si da Noni, trebuie sa mai stai la o bere si cu baieti:P

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