Mr. B. got up very early this morning to attend his visa application interview in preparation for his upcoming business travel. He knew ahead of time that the process would be a rather frustrating one, and he was right.
Getting in to the visa office required a thorough check-in process like that of actually boarding a plane. One must remove anything electronic and metallic from the body, one needs to remove shoes and have them scanned through the x-ray, together with their bags. Long line. Long wait.
There was this little old lady just a few persons in front of Mr. B. She was by herself. She wasn't very sure what to do. Perhaps her first visit to the country. She has been directed all around. Then it was her turn for fingerprint scanning. What usually would take a minute took all of 20 minutes to get her finger photos right. She was told to wash, rub, press, stop shaking, stand farther away, higher, lower - again, and again, and yet again, just to get the perfect scan of her fingerprints. Then it was her turn for interview. Obviously she doesn't speak the language. The foreign interviewer communicated with her in her language asking about her travel plans. Mr. B. overheard "...travelling with a neighbor...", "... leisure travel...". The old lady gave the interviewer a polite bow before leaving the counter.
When it was Mr. B.'s turn to be interviewed, he was assigned to the same foreign interviewer. Mr.B.'s "hello" was not reciprocated. He took one look at Mr. B., skimmed a few pages of his passport, then gave him the claim slip. Mr. B. didn't bother to say "thank you" and left. The "interview" was done within 10 seconds.
"I don't have to go through that when I travel!" I told Mr. B.
"Lucky you. Some people have to undergo some sort of humiliation first in order to get a visa." he said.
Humans are strange. They allow themselves to be exposed to almost inhuman treatment just to set foot on other human's country. Perhaps this is the effect of mistrust and ignorance among them, or perhaps this is the cause.