Bureaucracy and lunacy
Darjeeling Travel Blog› entry 21 of 28 › view all entries
Having arrived from Kathmandu by bus at the Nepali - Indian border I was greeted by a rather icy Indian border official, though I know that Indian border officials have the tact of the Wehrmacht but this one was definitely applying for the Gestapo, who gestured me to put my backpack outside his office to keep his office "clean" of all unwanted elements (read people that disturb him). He then started to ask me what I wanted, which was a bit obvious to me standing at the Indian border post with my Indian visa in my hand. After a ridiculous and meticulous long investigation of my passport he reluctantly lifted his stamper and gave me another of his sighs before he put the entry stamp in my passport and I finally entered India.
Little did I know this was just the beginning or "kinderspiel" compared to getting my free Sikkim permit in Darjeeling.
As still haven't managed to eat a curry for breakfast, I had to face the Indian bureaucracy with an empty stomach. So I headed for the mayor's office at the far west side of Darjeeling to get my Sikkim permit and find the correct counter in this labyrinth of clerks and counters each of them directing me to another one and pointing me back to the starting point.
I made it to the Foreigners Registration Office and back to the mayor's office within 35 minutes and with a feeling of beating the system I presented the official the application form with the two stamps. The official looked irritated at me and pointed at a sign that said: "Opening hours 8am-12am and 3pm-5pm", what the sign should have said was: "ACHTUNG lazy Indian official", and then pointed to the clock that told me it was 12:05.