A special story is the organization (preparation and adventure of realization) of arrival and / or departure from India. Given that I have had the opportunity to participate, so far, in both directions, in this activity (and a new ones are coming as well), it is time to tell in detail what awaits you if you go on a planned trip (flight) to India.
Quite simply, this particular report could be called “A Guide for Dummies – Ignorant ones on the Road to India”. Let’s leave aside the impossibility of obtaining a visa at the Embassy of the Republic of India in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because there is no embassy of India there, but the Embassy of India in Budapest (Hungary) covers Bosnia and Herzegovina, so, before leaving, you must check everything online on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH. and Latif aga (1) travels to Hungary. However, your reporter should not have gone to Hungary, given that the Vice-Rector of my university, where I am temporarily working, until September 2022, is the esteemed Prof. Dr. Prabhat Ranjan, a futuristic visionary at DY Patil International University in Pune, India, knew the Indian Ambassador to Hungary, so all my employment visa activities were carried out at the Embassy of the Republic of India in Belgrade, Serbia (transffered from Budapest), which made it easier for me (and financially) to visa. Why, I went with my car and 4:30 hours takes with a car from Sarajevo, BiH to Belgrade, Serbia.
Namely, you apply through the online application and prepare for two hours of studious approach to filling in all required information as well as “uploading” all required documents online (if you have already, a priori, provided that) related to your visa (depending on whether the business, employment and / or tourist visa can be found at this link: https://www.eoibudapest.gov.in/page/visa-services/). Very helpful staff of the Embassy of India in Belgrade (why not to be helpful, because there are not so many frequent guests from BiH in India) was at my disposal, from the coordination of telephone conversations in preparation and all the way to the Embassy in Belgrade, where you are accommodated in the huge and very well equiped room and treated as a VIP guest until the clerk of the Embassy completes all the work of stamping the visa into your passport on the spot.
Forget that you were vaccinated
And, of course, it is necessary, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already become an integral part of our daily lives in the past two years around the world, regardless of the fact that you have been vaccinated (and now, recently upon my arrival in Sarajevo, I was boosted against Covid-19 – meaning, I have got vaccinated third time with BioTech Phiser), take a PCR test again, which you can do at the Sarajevo airport, but it is better in the place you come from, in authorized health institutions, because it is necessary to have a PCR test not older than 72 hours. All this is raised, both on arrival and departure from India to the one and only location – New Delhi Airport, no later than 24 hours before the trip, regardless of which airport you land. Everything is realized through this link: https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration. Of course, it is very simple, of course, if you, as for visa before, obtained all needed documents.
Of course, due to the length of the flight, you have to reconnect the flight at least twice (via Dubai, UAE is the best), so plan, if you are lucky, that you will spend at least 7.5 hours on a plane (from Sarajevo, BiH), or a total of 15 hours on a trip. However, if you do not have a “connecting flight”, you can, like me, spend at the airport in Dubai (a small hall that you encircle walking in 5 minutes – Terminal 2) and up to 24 hours, waiting for the “flight connection for further trip”.
But it also has its advantages, because you can see in one place all the diversity of this world, people of all races and colors, smiling, angry, nervous and relaxed, rich and poor, but with one single goal, to reach their destination. And if you are going to spend more time in Dubai, just know that you can’t leave the airport without a visa, and you have to pay 75 Euros (for BiH citizens and for others, please check here) and you can do it on the spot. I’d rather stayed inside because I’ve never been to +50 Celsius (Fahreinheit – +122) before (and I’ve been twice) and still have to pay for something like that for a couple of hours, and it takes at least an hour to get to the city, as in all major cities in the world from the airport, with a taxi which, of course, also, you have to pay). So, the costs are not worth mentioning, because they are really high in Dubai. And in airport restaurants.
What is strange, at least for me, who flew from Canada to Paraguay, from Iraq to Lithuania, is that if you use FlyDubai (and what else can you do from Sarajevo to India, unless you want to travel via Istanbul, which makes your flight even more expensive, with Turkish airlines – which is really better with the service, but is still more expensive for this destination) is that you have to pay on the plane, if you want, to watch movies. I never had to pay to watch movies anywhere and where I flew (and I flew both long and short “distances”). You feel like you’re in a hotel where you have to pay to watch “forbidden xxx movies” (you know the ones I mean). And you just want to watch some of the thrillers or comedies whose offer is really impressive, but no, first “pay and than shake” is the only case with them.
Don’t forget, please, to have all the documents you “uploaded” online in printed form. And that is required as well, from check-in to passport control. And one very new thing, as of 11.1.2022: regardless mentioned, you have to, if you are coming from „risky“ countries in regard Covid-19 and Europe as the whole is „risky“ for India, you have to spend 7 days in insulation (by the way, nobody is checking you out during that insulation, so for me it looks like getting more money for AT PCR testing, because on the 8th day you have to do new test and upload it on given WWW site).
Rock’n’roll will never die
And, when you land at any of the airports in India, forget that you will get out of it in the next hour and a half. I have been to two airports so far (Mumbai and Hyderabad) being faced with really strict bureaucratic procedures, both on arrival and on departure from India. Maybe it’s not bad to see that something works properly in a country where no one respects traffic regulations and where time is, in relation to us Europeans, an extensible category and where when they tell you “2 minutes” it is in 90% of cases 20 minutes to the realization of the meeting, and sometimes, even two hours. But that super-organization also has its flaws.
On the plane from Dubai to Mombai you get a form to fill in where you are staying, where you are staying, what kind of visa you have, but no one checks in detail whether you filled it in ok, except to hand it in on arrival, at the first control, after getting off the plane. Then, there is the passport control and behind it, right behind it, at one of the tables (a polite young man addresses you), they write your name and details in an ordinary notebook(sic!). Details are your name, passport number and visa number.
Why, I really don’t know. Well, that’s not all. Regardless of the fact that you have performed a PCR test before departure for India, at the airport, and before leaving, after picking up your luggage, you must perform a new test. Which, of course, you pay 600 IR (7,93 $ US Dollars), which is not expensive for our terms in BiH (unlike ours, which is paid, for now, 100 KM – 58 $ US Dollars), but you have to wait there too. And, most interestingly, I have never received test results at the address (email and / or home) that I list in the form. I guess they should deliver them, whether they are negative or positive. So I have a big question mark when it comes to this test: Is it another form of taking money in the state way or do they just not know how to do their job – submit test information to a given address? Although, as 11.1.2022 a new issue have arisen. If I want, upon arrival to have test results 30 minutes upon giving a sample needed to be tested, I have to pay not 7,93 $ US Dollars (for that I have to wait 8 hours) but 25,11 $ US Dollars (1,900 IR) and I can not get out from the airport withou the test. Guess which one I have chosen to avoid waiting 8 hours?!
And then you are finally free, after getting the test results, to leave the airport and head towards your target destination in India.
Heaven and Earth
As much as I think that this way of controlling entry and exit from one country can be tedious, I still think that it is very successful when it comes to protection against a pandemic. Although at the very beginning of the pandemic they had problems with the number of infected cases, today in India everything is much more relaxed and under control, as much as possible. Imagine, in a country of one billion three hundred million inhabitants, you had on December 25, 2021 about 300 cases of the new Omicron variant of the virus so far, while in only one city – New York (USA) or Great Britain you have tens of thousands of patients with this new variant of Covid-19. Specifically, so far in the city where I live (Pune, ten million inhabitants) about 19,000 died of the Covid-19, while in the whole of Bosnia and (about three million inhabitants) on December 25, 2021. is 12,436.
And these numbers speak enough about the country (Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the first in Europe and the second in the world in terms of deaths per million inhabitants. Although, for us, death from Covid-19 is normal as well as the fact that the Prime Minister ofThe Netherlands goes to work on a bicycle while our politicians go to work in expensive cars and with rotating lights of the accompanying staff (police), which reminds me of the old saying “Favorite leader has security so that the masses do not fall into temptation. “
Heaven and Earth are us (BiH) and India, no matter how much we are silent about it. But, until we introduce the controls they have at the entrance, and we don’t have any, everyone knows that, in addition to people leaving the country due to the political situation, not just economica one, people will die mercilessly due to ignorance and madness of the corruptly nepotistic family fascist chauvinist government in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
An example? With pleasure. Upon arrival from India at Sarajevo Airport, November 3, 2021. for a short business stay, the first thing you see when you enter the airport building, and after getting off the plane, is the technical staff who do not wear masks and greet acquaintances who have just landed, on the steps, before arriving at passport control. Next is the relaxation at the passport control with the border guard who recognizes his friends in line and invites them to come across the line to him. And we, the rest of common people, are silent and waiting. And no one asks me for a AT PCR test or instructs me to do one, upon arrival, or whether I am vaccinated or not. I guess, as a BiH citizen, I am immune to all that, from India, through the UAE to BiH.
And yes, I am immune to all the nonsense that we, by electing people in power in the last thirty years, have made possible. The domino effect of negative selection has killed quality, from the Presidency of BiH and the Parliament of BiH to the janitors at the entrance to the local municipality. As long as “the right is not equal to responsibility; responsibility equals empathy and empathy equals equality” and vice versa, all our minds will be reduced to „what they can do?… We are the best and the greatest“. Especially nationalists.
While we are at the bottom of all expectations, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If we start with the corrections to the above now, it would take us another thirty years for something like that, because these last 30 were more than enough to conclude that we are at the very end of the existence of a country I love, but a state I simply can’t see with my eyes.
- Famous “sevdalinka”, Bosnian old ethnic song related to the trip of “Latif aga” with his friend looking for good time roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfUBrnFhYZo