"You have not filled out the correct immigration form" the female officer told me with an expression that suggested a combination of irritation and disgust.
I don't blame her; after all, if I am being asked to work at midnight, I too will be cranky as hell. Or, perhaps she was just being a Ramamritham!
"Do you have the form here?"
"No, it is there" she said pointing her fingers to a far away fixture on the wall.
I walked up to that one. Two holders for forms and neither seemed to have any papers.
I walked back to her and reported that there were no forms.
She was even more irritated and disgusted. "It is there in the wooden one."
I went there and fished around inside. Dammit she was right. There was one form. One f*ing form was all that was there in those two bins together. Couldn't these folks at least restock that damn thing?
Having filled it out, I waited for her to finish processing the person at her counter.
Meanwhile, a younger man waiting in line was getting visibly upset that I was making a dash for the counter. "Sir, the line is here" he advised me in a very Indian manner of spoken and body language. I couldn't be bothered. "She asked me to make a correction to the form" I said as I walked up to the counter.
The utterly smile-less officer stamped the passport and I moved on.
Welcome to India, I told myself.
I am sure the Indian visitors get a lot more hassled by the process when they visit the US. But, hey, I can only blog about my own experiences ;)
I paid upfront for a taxi and walked up to the parking lot. A driver led me to his cab. An old black Ambassador with a yellow top. It looked so old and beaten up that I worried it might not be air-conditioned. "Does this have AC?" I asked him. He nodded an affirmative.
It was stifling inside the cab. I removed my shirt and stuffed it into the backpack. Welcome to India, I told myself.