FOXTROTS 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 

2007 April 19

 

India. Trying – to get there. 

 

I planned to go to India for a travel trade show. I knew the visa was costly – low-fare-airline management would have no hesitation in calling it a ‘rip-off’. But I thought the trip would still be worthwhile. 

So I made enquiries about the other details – like how long it would take to issue the visa, because I had another trip coming up, and would need my passport. 

 I was not in a city where India had an embassy or visa. But how long if I mailed my application. Or if I travelled to the city where there was an embassy, could I apply and receive the visa in the same day – meaning maybe just one overnight instead of two or more. 

So I looked at the website, which helpfully gave me much information – opening days and times of the embassy, cost of the visa, the surcharge (why?) if I was not a national of the country in which I was applying, and so on. 

But no answers to my specific questions. 

So I phoned the embassy. A long recorded message helpfully gave a lot of information – opening days and times of the embassy…Yes, they seemed to be reading out the website. 

So my questions were not answered. 

Helpfully, there was an email address for enquiries. So I sent off my questions. But you guessed – no reply and no acknowledgement. 

And you guessed. I never went to India, a country I think I would still like if I can ever get there again, and never got to the trade show, and India never got the US$75-odd in fees that I was ready to pay. 

Of course, the point is that India is losing visitors, and it probably does not know. Requiring visas is unfriendly in the first place; the rest of my treatment increased that unfriendliness.

 

The Fox