They say that “Things come in threes” and my recent experience in trying to obtain a Schengen visa could not have been a more perfect example.
Contrary to my experience applying for a US Visa in 2010, pocketing a Schengen visa had been a bit more challenging, demanding, tiresome, and at some point, frustrating…
The First Instance: Baby, Come Back
My first appointment with German Embassy was in Oct 11. There are 2 German Embassy offices here, and we got lost and went to the “wrong one” first. Good thing, the Consular Office is close by and we still made it early for my 8am appointment.
Superstitious me did not see “getting lost” as a good omen, and I tried to brush that feeling off by shifting my attention to the murals painted at the T-walls protecting the German Embassy compound. It was a welcome relief to see colors amid the dull and bleak colors of the concrete blocks.
My application was received by a local who I felt may have been in a bad mood due to his poor customer service skills that morning. The setbacks just went on. My application was not accepted due to “incomplete documents”. Documents presented before by previous applicants/colleagues were not accepted in my case. I was told to come back when my documents are complete and I have to book another appointment.
With consular appointments selling like pancakes, and due to the 2-week restriction in rebooking an appointment, the earliest date I could get was a month later 😦
Take Two!: The Confusing Detour
Getting jittery since my second appointment with German Embassy is less than a month away from my scheduled trip, I thought of exploring a chance with Italian Embassy… I managed to schedule an appointment for Nov 11.
Fast forward to my interview date with the Italian Embassy…
Superstitious me was not feeling it to be a good day. Just outside the gate of our camp, heavy traffic was on. Our vehicle had to do a detour – a wrong one! A taxi was stuck in the puddled mud that we will pass through and our driver tried to go ahead thinking that our 4×4 vehicle can get past it. No. We got stuck too! Fortunately, we had tow straps which pulled us out of “the mess”. We also towed the taxi. I pacified myself with the thought that at least we helped somebody which just might bring us a lot of good karma for the day.
But not quite…
My interview with the Consul did not take even 3 minutes. Immediately when he saw that my port of entry will be Germany, he did not entertain me further. The rule I read over the internet to apply in the country that is your main destination did not pass the Consul. They advised me to go to German Embassy, my point of entry. That was it. Kalas. End of story.
Good thing I stilled booked a Nov 19 appointment with German Embassy – 20 days prior to my vacation!
The Third Instance: Hit Me Baby One More Time!
My second appointment with German Embassy turned out well. I felt a bit of phobia since the personnel who assisted me the first time is the same guy who will be assisting me that day. But I gotta do what I gotta do, and fortunately, he seems to be satisfied with the documents I brought. Minimal questions and no additional documents were sought.
I breathed a sigh of relief when he asked me to do biometric scanning… But not without letting me feel tensed as he periodically flips over my documents as if looking or making sure of something. Then he collected the visa fee and I felt a little more relieved. He asked me to come back 10 days after to collect my passport 🙂
The past 10 days was a time of uncertainty. I heard stories where additional documents were asked or the application was denied. And I can’t afford any more delays with only 10 days before my trip… I just prayed for God to hear my prayer.
And He did.
And today, I got my Schengen visa 🙂 And I couldn’t be more relieved that my travel plans will push through. All the disappointment, frustration and uncertainties are gone. Now, I am looking forward that I just can’t wait to be living the dream 🙂
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau