It was a 9am showdown at the East Timor Consulate in Kupang. Luckily for me, Simon and Chesa where there, and Chesa, being Indonesian, could explain my predicament to the lady a damn site better than I could. I had applied for my visa authorisation FOUR WEEKS ago, and heard nothing in reply. The lady made a phone call and said that the authorisation had been sent last month. No it hadn’t. I had flashbacks to when I had to explain to my mum back in 1997 yes it did matter if you spelt the email address incorrectly.
The lady said to go and wait for the email confirmation, they would resend it. So I did. I went back to Edwin’s joint and twiddled my thumbs, refreshing my email every now and again. I knew that if I didn’t get the authorisation today, when I finally got to Dili, I would be spending the entire next week there waiting for my visa BACK INTO INDONESIA to come through (you can’t get one on the border). If I got the confirmation for East Timor today, left here tomorrow morning, I could be at the Indonesian embassy for Wednesday morning, I could have my visa on Friday and be out of there on Saturday. Otherwise I would be leaving on the following Tuesday at the earliest.
By 3pm the email hadn’t arrived. I actually went back to the consulate. Seriously? WTF? The lady made another call. They had sent the email again. Again it hadn’t arrived. Okay, okay – here’s my email address, get them to send it to you, then forward it on to me, okay?
I can’t fault the lady – she was very helpful. Her name was Jen. She was sincerely sorry for all this nonsense. You could tell by her demeanour that she knew she worked with morons and was doing her level best to make my life easier. One problem: her email wasn’t working.
Will it be working before the end of the day?
Urgh! I headed back to Edwin’s and kept on hitting F5.
At 4.55pm, the Authorisation arrived.
Edwin booked me on the 5am bus to Dili. It’s high time to tick my 183rd nation off the list.
A note to anyone wanting a East Timor visa to enter the country overland: DON’T BOTHER with the online registration malarkey. Just go to the new consulate in Kupang and get your visa there. If you’re REALLY nice to Jen, she might even sort you out with one the same day 😉