South East Asia trip: step 1 completed!

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For some reason, French people holders must apply for a visa when they want to discover Vietnam (different websites, different info so I’m writing this article based on the instructions found on my government’s official website)

After thinking of sending my visa application for so long, I finally did it. I found time to organize:

– a passport picture
– filled a form
– paid the fee (CHF 90 – really??)
– an empty envelop

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Now waiting time has started!

It should not take that long since I answered the given form honestly…

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Being silly on a form reminded me the time when a group of happy fellow travelers and I crossed the Chilean/Bolivian border…

Our guide told us it would be fun to be creative for our job description, some of us decided to be pilots, truck drivers or teachers (really? Why not tax audits while you are at it! Boring!).

I found hilarious to be an exotic dancer. No offense to any exotic dancers out there but it was for me THE ultimate job and I had to write it down.

Laughing today but at the time I might have annoyed one or two fellow travelers for being pulled aside, delaying our bus drive. Oops!

The customs officer looked at me, looked at my form, looked at me again, and the form again… He asked me to open my backpack, probably hoping to find some naughty undies but he only found a mess and a few (many) bottles of Pisco sour.

I had forgotten all about this alcohol and had therefore not declared it. The officer became offensive: exotic dancer and alcohol smuggler?!

He started to question me about my life, what I was doing for a living, looking at me suspiciously.

To be fair I was not very feminine, had been on the road for two months and my grace was comparable to a cow jumping over a puddle, non existent!

I could see my trip mates waiting for me, giggling or shaking their heads. I looked back at the officer and solemnly declared that I was merely a dancing teacher: mambo, chacha, meringue (I gave the the word exotic a whole new meaning)…

And salsa?! he wanted to know…

Hmmmm tricky question? Was he gonna ask me to dance to test me? So for the first time in 30 minutes I told the truth, well almost: ‘no not really but it is definitely my next step. Many of my students asked for it…’

He looked at me, sighed at the impressive chaos I created on his bank and ordered me to pack everything with a smile and a ‘good luck’.

Glad he didn’t ask me to dance for him or show him my (rather poor) pole silks. It took me 10 more minutes to figure out how to close my bag. After 2 months and a bit backpacking, you do end up with billions of ‘stuff’.

But finally managed and was warmly welcomed into Chile! Alleluja! This definitely taught me a lesson and shall I ever be creative on a form again, I will opt for pilots, truck drivers or teachers…

Well it is said to live and learn – so I do and that’s why I’m so excited to receive my first visa for my South East Asian trip! It takes me closer to my next adventures!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

Ps. I obviously sent a more grown up form to avoid delays..

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