Bureaucratic Horrible-ness at its Finest
The second I set foot in the BSL to arrange my Indian Visa, an odd atmosphere was lingering in the room, slowly killed my positive and uplifted energy. A lady was called to the counter. As I monitored the conversation, the ”flexible” and ”helpful nature” was quickly made clear. With a panicking voice, trembling legs and a defeated look the lady turned away from the counter and clearly with her hopes crush, proceeded towards the exit.
When called to the counter I handed over all the documents and the woman started browsing through. The nodding head was promptly abrupted with the question ”positive cashflow?” Not having ever read about it in my application, there is apparentely a need for a proof of positive balance from the bankaccount. Since I did not have a document containing that information I was directed to move my butt to the internetcafe next door, print the needed documents and once again pull a number.
Just beside the BSL building the internetcafe was quickly located, being tiny little office with two ancient PC’s against the wall. I informed the guy at the counter I had to print a screenshot of my current balance and would be gone in a minute. That was not a problem and was allowed to take place in one of the dying office chairs in front of the PC. Within a few clicks on the keyboard I logged into my account, pressed CTRL+P and a little quite decent looking printer came to life. Not completely to my surprise, it managed to produce a document that badly printed, I was hardly able to read the information. The guy handed me the piece of horrible-ness, adding ”That will be 11 euros”. While my eyes widened he explained that I got charged for 30 minutes of internet-use (10 euros) and 1 black and white print (1 euro). Armed with my 11 euro piece of unreadability, I made my way back to the BSL.
After another wait I was allowed to once again stand nervously at the application desk. I tried my best to kindly hand over the documents where the lady at the counter once again went through the complete paperwork. There she asked if I was indeed planning to ride my motorcycle towards India. (Which was already quite obvious since I stated it multiple times). Then the kind lady noted that she also needed a copy of the motorcycle documents, which could be made in the internetcafe next door and I could return later..
After another nice trip to the wonderful internetcafe and a beautifully abstract copy which this was only 2 euros, such a bargain! Once again having the pleasure of waiting in the comfortable atmosphere of the BSL. When called to the desk, I tried my hardest to maintain a kind hearted and joyful facade, while internally having completely different emotions.
That is why, when applying for a visa at the BSL, my advice would be to bring a copy of everything imaginable. Make a copy of your bankcredit, Insurance, Hotelbooking, Carnet de Passage, why not throw in a copy of your babycard once you’re at it. If they are so silly to ask for it, atleast then you wouldn’t be caught off-guard!