Saturday, September 08, 2012

Kolkata FRRO

So, after arriving home on Tuesday, we head off to the FRRO on Wednesday and we talk to the DC (the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the guy over Immigration in Kolkata) and he listens to our story and calls up one of the guys from the FRRO. DH had printed off this page, and shows it to the DC and the DC asks if he can spare this copy, to which DH replies sure, and the DC writes a few lines on it and signs it and tells the guy from the FRRO to pass it around the office, making sure everyone understands it and signs it.

Then we go down to the FRRO and we find out that on the 30th (the day we left for Delhi) that the FRRO had gotten the intimation letter from the MHA, and had the guy been in possession of our phone number he would have called us and told us not to go (but anyways..we got to spend time alone, for like the first time in a year, so totally worth it), so it was pretty much just a problem of wires crossing at the wrong point, nobody's fault really. Then he gives us a small slip of paper and tells us to go to the first link and do the online application for Registration and Visa Extension. We fill out the online application and submit it. We go Monday to give our papers.

The guy in the FRRO has also advised us to apply directly for the FRRO after we get the extension because there is a chance that the government will get rid of the PIO, to which he didn't tell us anything more, so what will the option be for us who-got-ours-by-being-married-to-Indians I don't know. Let's see how things pan out :D

The "un"fruitful Delhi trip

Well, DH and I found some train tickets available on the Sealdah Rajdhani for the end of August and decided to go to Delhi and visit the MHA. So, we bought the up and down tickets and then waited. The week we were to leave I went around and did all the normal errands, like xeroxing, buying personal items, etc, etc.

Then comes Thursday, well...thanks to some work the night before everything had to be done Thursday morning and we were rushing. So...we leave our house at around 4pm (the train was at 450pm, and might I say, DH has a habit of getting on trains like with only a few seconds to spare, or missing them altogether?) so we get in the taxi and DH tells him where we are going. Thankfully the taxi driver takes 2 shortcuts and gets us to the train station in 25 minutes. YEAH!! Plus, the way he went was like Rs 40 (like 80 cents) cheaper...so since the driver managed to get us there so we didn't miss our train DH gave him like Rs 100 for the fare...(that included whatever change there was to be...) so we get on the train and go.

Well, let me backtrack a bit, Wednesday we had gone to the FRRO since they had told us earlier that when we go to the MHA to give them a copy of our documents and they will start on our file as soon as they get the email from them. Well, this day they were saying that they would not accept them and we had to go to Delhi. Anyways no big deal, we were going the next day.

So, then we get to Delhi Friday morning and as DH is stepping down from a island he twists his ankle, no good. So, we get an auto and go to our hotel, and rest a bit, since neither of us slept very well on the train. We eat a huge lunch of rice, daal, egg curry, and some other veggie. I sleep and DH works, we wake up and go out to the market next to our hotel to pick up the required necessities, and while I go back to the room, DH goes for booze (*that* story is here...).  We drink, eat dinner, then sleep.

Saturday, DH still has pain in his ankle so we don't go out. We stay in our room watching TV, and reading. We go to the market again for lunch and this time have chinese. Yummy chicken chow mein, chicken in oyster sauce and a veg spring roll. So, then by this time its like 430pm and DH wants a drink, so we start drinking again. Then we sleep some more and just hang out and then go to get dinner.
We had some rumali roti with some amazing butter chicken, a chicken reshmi kebab and some chicken leg kebabs with some *AMAZING* green chili chutney.

Sunday, I meet up with a friend for lunch, then we go shopping a bit, mainly to buy books. Where I find a store that has, wait a minute, did I see that correctly? DR. PEPPER. At Rs 85 ($1.70USD) a 12 oz can, I buy 4...so then we go to the book store and I buy 2 books (since DH stole my laptop and read his Game of Thrones e-books on the way to Delhi and I knew he would do it on the way home too...) and then we go outside to wait for DH to show up. I popped open a soda and am hit with memories, it tasted amazing lol.

So we go to The Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and drinks...so not worth it. But had fun with my friend I met on the airplane when I moved here, and haven't seen since.

So, then Monday we get up early, by early I mean we're up by 730am...so we get ready and jump in our taxi at 930am, and head to MHA. Well, here we find out that just a week ago they implemented a new policy. Now the MHA will only accept applications (or even *SEE* anyone, for that matter) if your local FRRO hasn't done anything within 30 days or for medical emergencies. We talk to the people at the reception desk and are told we need to go to Kolkata and submit our papers there. *sigh* So we leave the MHA and on the way home we are both silent, contemplating what we have just learned.

So, we both decide the best option is to see if there are any train tickets available (since plane tickets are going to be super expensive last minute) and luckily we find some taktal (last minute) train tickets so we buy them and are off to the train station.