I remember checking how many hours of flight and having that fleeting feeling of dread. Seriously! I would be in the air that long and go through 6 hours difference in time zone! This was quickly replaced by anticipation of actually going to fulfill a longtime dream. I had dreamed of going to Asia ever since that Chinese girl sat next to me in primary school, ever since all the Indians won all the prizes in secondary school, ever since I realized how gracious the women could be. Note that I do not mention the men! They are completely another story!
After hours of flying with me walking around, stretching, groaning in pain, speaking with my friend and sleeping, we finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Arriving at the immigration’s desk, my joy was cut short! I did not have a yellow fever card, I wasn’t going to be allowed into the country. I had taken the shots but due to the embassy’s advice in Poland, I had left the card at home. Talk about bad advice! Anyway, due to the fact that I had arrived from Europe, I was not deported. With a huge sigh of relief, I happily walked into the country which surprisingly reminded me of home. My friend probably got tired of hearing this though. The rest of the stay was really nice – amazing people, amazing food, lots of nice Asian things to see!
This story is really about Thailand, so I will quickly move ahead to that part.
After days of touring Malaysia, we went to Thailand, it was amazing! The architecture! The food! The “side dishes – insects, frogs, wall geckos” to try! The forever-smiling people! The people who always took pictures of me and wanted to take pictures with me (even when I was sure that I looked tired and terrible at times)! The people who ran towards me to try to hug me (unfortunately they had me step-siding them and begging them not to touch me as this was a bit too much for me)! Seeing one of the biggest Buddhas in the world! Playing “woman or man (lady boy)” games with my friends (yeah we made a new Dutch friend there)! Going for a life performance about the Thai heritage! Touching a huge elephant and taking pictures with it!
Finally, the time to return back to “my ordinary life” came and my friend and I went to the airport to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur. Getting extra checks at airports is not a new thing to me. The bored looking officers just give a perfunctory glance at blue passports but once a green one reaches their desk, they suddenly become very alert, asking all kinds of questions.
This was when the trouble started.
The officer looked at my documents and said to me, “Madam, I understand that you are going to take a connecting flight from Malaysia. Your Malaysian visa is single entry meaning that you cannot take that flight unless you reapply for a tourist visa to Malaysia”. I explained that I had been told in Poland that it was OK and that I could travel back through Malaysia to Europe. He seemed slightly bored and said “You are a Nigerian, aren’t you? No madam, you cannot. There is a law that people can do that and apply for a visa on arrival but Nigeria is excluded from this list.”
Shit shit shit! It was!!!
I was denied my flight and asked to reapply for a visa to Malaysia so that I could return to Poland via Malaysia. One of the airport assistant guides, who was smiling and frowning at the same time (it was really weird to watch her do that) wrote presumably the address of the Malaysian embassy for me on a piece of paper. I really couldn’t even tell what she had written.
I ran out of the airport with my bags to hail a taxi to get me to the embassy as quickly as possible.
This was just the beginning of the problems.
Stay tuned for the next chapter