Addendum – I don’t need this
Reasonable flight across the Pacific to Santiago- QANTAS Dreamliner – truely a flat bed! However my life long sleeping position of flat on my belly , flat pillow, head facing to the left or right , is after 75 years, catching up with me as I have a mild neck ache, like a wry neck most mornings. I need to change pillow!
But that is, or was, the least of my worries! The saga of the Chile visa was about to explode at the immigration desk! I have occasionally watched the TV so called “Realty” shows including the airport immigration/custom version! Let me tell you, it’s real!
In sordid summary, the printed Chilean visa I handed to the youthful immigration lad, was an acknowledgment and summary of my application, not the final approval ! He fiddled with his PC screen, went to chat with another person, came back and using Google translate, on his phone said “ we need to talk to my boss”.
Well in a crowded office, the boss after several minutes and me explaining the situation, as well as evidence of my itinerary and flights in and out etc, said, hand on his pistol, “you are not to enter Chile without a visa.”.
There followed a mind numbing silence….. his hand tightened on his gun…….”we must put you back in the next plane to Sydney!
I must have obviously looked distressed, I said I was very upset and could I use the toilet! And I genuinely did have a need! He waved me down the corridor ( no chains, handcuffs or escort)
Upon my return I sat outside the office, relieved in one sense only. He beckoned me into his office and said sternly “Mr Graham, I have decided to grant you a transit visa! If you ever come back to Chile, you MUST have a visa. “
In retrospect I am certain that the whole exercise was to scare me shitless ( mission accomplished) and he always intending to let me in!! The giggles from the other people in the office at my obvious discomfort and final relieve as I genuflected, bent down to kiss his feet and crawled out on my knees, backwards, was prove positive as to the success of his mission.
Please be reassured that since then I have done due diligence and have confirmed yet again that Australians do not need a Visa to enter Argentina as a tourist, unless the rules change in the next 36 hours
3 thoughts on “More customs catastrophes”
Sounds like a harrowing experience deserving a glass or 2 of red.
Next time you should travel with a guardian, or with Pamela which amounts to the same thing. Due diligence eh. I’m not sure that after the event enquiry counts as due diligence. That aside if only I had been there to see you genuflect!
Oh my goodness! What an experience. I’m sorry you had to endure that, but at the same time I loved reading about it! Gave me a good chuckle. Hope the rest of your trip goes more smoothly!
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