Sunday, July 12, 2009

The things that divide (and de-visa) us

We are not one.

As much as I would like to think that we are all more the same than we are different, there are way too many things that divide the human race. These days more than ever.

We fight wars. We discriminate. We enslave. This happens every day. In spite of great influences such as Madiba and Obama. There are people who take advantage of the rest of us, who try to find short cuts for their own personal gain and in doing so lets the whole human race down.

I am so disappointed by my fellow South Africans for producing fraudulent passports at the Home Affairs Office. The UK Border Patrol confiscated thousands such documents in the last year, some owned by wanted international criminals. What's just outrageous is that even Hollywood star Wesley Snipes had one until recently. Now hundreds of corrupt officials have been fired and new security measures have been put in place to save the status of the South African passport.

However, it's too little too late. A South African travel document is laughing stock these days and I've hit passport panic.

From 1 July 2009 South Africans need a visa to enter the UK. My passport is running out of pages and since the UK will not accept temporary or emergency South African passports because of security concerns, I now have to wait for a new one. There is no way to speed this process up and even though new technology have been put in place that allows Home Affairs to process passports within 10 days, it can still take up to six months.

This means I am entirely at their mercy. All I can do is wait, hope and pray that my new passport will be ready in time for me to make it to my godchild's christening and my 30th birthday gathering in London. I can't even imagine what it would feel like not being able to go because of a visa problem.

I love this world and everything it has to offer. Yet not being able to move freely within it is to me like being oxygen deprived.


SwissTwist said...

Oh I do hope you get your new passport soo^n! I'm meant to get my new one too (in my married name and I've been married 4 years now) but I'm too scared to apply for it, especially from Switzerland not knowing when or if I'll have any passport at all.

Keep us posted!!

Anonymous said...

Your visa crisis will mean we see you again!!! I just hope that you get all the logistics sorted out- I was very dissapointed not to have dinner with you last week. Come home soon!!!!
Love Mich

Mona Lize said...

Swiss Twist - if you have a Swiss passport I would suggest NEVER to give it up in favour of a South African one!

Mich, I'm so sorry it didn't work out. Hopefully I can make it home for a quick visit soon. Miss you too!