I wonder why applying for a visa always feels like taking an exam? Embassies have a way of intimidating me with their big security gates and acrylic windows, not to mention a laundry list of documents and complex forms. The most difficult part is probably having the right photo! Some like a red background, others white, your photo always looks hideous, and if you have enough copies, you can’t remember where you put them “in that safe place”.
It was fairly easy to get the Vietnam visa – only 15 min with little paperwork – once you got to the embassy. Online is even better, especially if you are a busy person who can’t take time out to visit the embassy. Nothing was easier than Cambodia, which processed an e-Visa within a couple of hours. Being in Vietnam, I find the queues and crowds much, much smaller than India. Applying for the Singapore visa is always a breeze – they are friendly, efficient, and will be nice enough to process the visa quickly if you planned your trip at the last minute (been there, done that).
Getting the Schengen visa for the Italy trip was a little scary, with the kind of paperwork we were required to produce! For a change, I was happy to be a ‘dependent’ and only submit my passport along with Souvik’s. The Italian Embassy in Hanoi will rank as the dullest representation of the beautiful country, and I was sooooo disappointed. Great location, boring false ceiling (no Sistine Chapel here), weird paintings, out-of-date publications, nothing ‘renaissance’ about it . . . but the good part is that we will probably get our visa, and will be off in a few weeks!