Monday, October 10, 2005

Operation Immigration

So, lets see, it goes something like this. Pick up two kids, nanny, take them down town, on a Monday morning, during rush hour, to an office on the other edge of town. take a number... say it is like 7101. They are currently on 6800. You get the idea. Wait for two hours. Get your number called. Go to the counter and present all of the required documents. wait, what is that you say? You need a health check from my husband? "But, he argues, I had one last year for my work permit. It is not on record? Then how did I get the permit?" he queries. Immigration official says, if you can find it, bring it here before 2 pm today and no need to take another queue number. get drunk after work to drown your sorrows.

Alas, no one has the original health check up, so 2pm came-and went- without us returning to the immigration office. Next day, husband-attends a health screening... the same on wife attended the prior week. Xray, blood test for aids, general health screen. wait for results, which should be back by Thursday.

Thursday, no test results, wait until Friday. Friday am, no results. Friday afternoon, 3pm, too late for return to the immigration office. Pick up the health documents. Get drunk. No, just kidding, it is off to the airport to pick up our old Nanny Emah who is coming for the weekend. Emah comes, we spend Saturday AM at the zoo. Kiera gets a bad cold, and a fever, we stay home all day on Sunday. But, Nancy makes home made pizza for dinner.

SO.. back to immigration. Monday morning, again. Get in the taxi with Emah, Nancy, hubby and kids. Taxi driver says "wa, so many la." I say " is there a problem?" not just with your English old man, but the fact that there are 4 adults and 2 kids. "Taxi only hold 5 la"... um... add it up dumbshit. 4 adults, 2 kids... 6 passengers. BIG WHOOP. He takes us then takes Emah to the airport. Good fare for him countered his grumpy mood.

Get to immigration, go back, take number,... number 7141. Currently on number 7008. Get the gist of this? While waiting, we see the mass of humanity. Chinese immigrants from the PRC. Indian and Sri Lankans, Malay. All coming to Singapore to get a permanent Residence. A stepping stone to citizenship. So, we wait. and wait. and wait. See comb-over guy, the most amazing comb-over in all history. I was mocking him... only to realize that my hair, which is quite long now, could not come close to the same comb-over maneuver. See probable PRC prostitute and "pimp" boyfriend in line for a social visit visa. Wait some more. 2.5 hours later. Our number is called. We get in line. Turn in the paperwork. Bam.. ok, next stage, over to payment. Wait. pay. wait some more. Finally ask if kids can go home as it is now noon. Send children home.

Wait some more. Still waiting, watch lines of people be moved downstairs to get IC cards completed. Wait some more. It is now 1:30. No lunch, so movement of our we need to wait to get our cards. I go on a walk, looking for something to fill our ravenous stomachs. return at 2 with a diet coke (which tastes kinda funky) and a bag of M&Ms. At 2:45 our number is called again. They scan our pictures, take our thumb prints and the kind woman at the counter says. "why don't you go get your lunch and come back to collect your passports. What in gods name gave her the idea that the two lost looking soles who clearly had withered into nothingness in the 5+ hours of waiting would need a lunch. So we left. Came back at 3:45. Passports in hand. Documents in hand... kinda. We gotta go back next week to pick up our identity cards.

I WILL NEVER BITCH ABOUT THE DMV LINE AGAIN... SO HELP ME GOD! Welcome to Singapore, we are now permenant residents. lets get drunk.

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