Déjà-Vu

Today, I got a very strong déjà-vu feeling of being in my own country. VERY STRONG. It’s like I was ripped out of time n place and somehow returned to Indo. I must regretfully say that it was not a good experience. (hmmm…OK, so I guess I kinda understand why I don’t get home sick so easily 😛 – I mean, I miss my friends and family and the food, but that’s it. Friends n family I contact regularly, food I try to make also regularly, so no, I can happily say that I’m not suffering from homesickness…which is really cool when you CAN’T just hop on a plane home anytime you want!)

Well, for those who care to know the reasons of my déjà-vu, just read along…

Now…what exactly was it, that bore back the scents from home so strongly? It was no less n no other than the Indonsian Embassy, here in Den Haag, just 10 minutes away from my office. Everything seemed surreally similar to one of the government office in Bandung or Jakarta!!!! Those unlucky enough to be in such buildings, knows what I mean. And know the dread of being there. Yea, well, Ok, they seem to be more efficient, but that’s yet to be proved.

The dingy walls and linoleum floor, along with the narrow halls and indo ppl bustling about…geezzz…the atmosphere was so similar it was plain eerie!!

And why I went there? To Register myself. Yes, it’s officially called “MELAPORKAN DIRI”. A process which I have not been warned of prior to leaving my country. Like, OK, so they say that ignorance is the trade mark of my generation. But REALLY, I have not heard about it anywhere!! I was told to go to the Alien Police as soon as I arrive, but that’s all!!! Not a single word about the indo embassy was mentioned. EVER.

The first buzz was when my ever caring daddy called from Jakarta, saying that a kennis van hem (jezz, I hate it when my English dies and the only phrase that comes up is dutch) – kenalan bokap!! – a friend of his??

Back to the story, he heard that someone had difficulties with the immigration office when he returned to Indo from Holland, just because there was no additional stamp mark on his passport, as proof that he’s registered himself at the indo embassy here in Holland. I don’t know if such a thing is official or not. If it were, then why weren’t we asked to do it?? (jadi kepikiran, org* indo yg pada tinggal di belanda, ada yg tau?? Jangan* emang gw yg bego sendiri… Anak* indo di Amrik? Di UK? Di Prancis?? Pada lapor diri ga???) – non indo speaking ppl: I was just asking other indo kids if they had to register themselves 😀

So last month I called the embassy. And they said yea, I should go there to get myself registered. Why? So they could take responsibility if I were missing. Euh, yea..OK, if you say so.

What do I need? An uitreksel. A green colored paper from the city hall which I had to pay €8 for to have my data written on.

And of course my identity card. And my passport. And that’s it. No payment necessary. Wow, that was new!

Anyway, after filling in a form inside the building of dé jà u – there was a stack of those paper by the door at the first floor, the floor I was told to go to – and standing in a short line, I got to get inside the office to hand in all the papers. Of course THEN I was told to make copies of my passport and my ID card. Noooo…they don’t tell you beforehand to bring it, nor do they tell you when you fill in the form nor do they tell you before you get in line. Indo ppl can be very practical in their own way.

Well, so I went downstairs and made copies – for which of course a ransom of money was asked, the perfect reason why they didn’t bother to tell me to bring copies in the first place – then I went back upstairs again. At least the line wasn’t long.

The guy took my papers and passport, barely looked at them, then asked if I want to have ‘it’ sent to me or would I take ‘it’ myself. WHAT IT?? What are they referring too??

I was of course at the point of believing that he’d be stupid enough to think I intended to extend my passport. Which of course was definitely not my intention, at least not at the moment. So I asked politely, what is it that I need to get? Wasn’t I supposed to get a stamp then leave the building?

Well, cutting the story short, I finally got the hopefully correct info out: If I were to stay long in Netherland, it would be VERY handy to change the address at the back of my passport (almost on the last page, boys and girls, there’s a black table where your data and address is filled in) from my address in Bandung to my address in Netherlands.

Oh, OK, so this was not the case of me being lost and found then. Instead, it was a case of me not having to pay fiscal any more if I get out of my country, (HORRAYY… )

Now it’s very clear why they didn’t tell me to register – at this point I no longer care if registering myself and changing my address is supposed to be 2 different thing or not – since I no longer have to pay fiscal money.

For those who don’t know, every time an indo citizen leaves Indonesia, they have to pay Rp. 1.000.000,00 to the gov’t. – that’s about $100. Every single time. I’m spared that I suppose. I don’t even know if other ppl have to pay again… I don’t seem to be hearing them complain. Maybe they’ve all found out about the changing address thing and keep it to them selves.

Hmm…now I’m curious!! HEY!! Indo ppl, raise your voice, will you? Does anybody have an experience with this kind of thing, fiscal, change of address on passport, registering oneself? Hello?

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~ by Anita Fei on July 14, 2005.

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