4 May 2007

Getting Schengen Visa is such a pain in the ass

I am going to Greece, and I am going to contribute to the market of the European Union. Good! Then why make the visa application so annoying?

First, we, being Taiwanese, can never get Greek visa becuase there aren't any Greek governmental representatives here in Taiwan. We must get the Schengen Visa from the Spainish Consulate in Taipei. All right, under the current political situation, that may be the best we can get so far. Honestly speaking, I don't really care which Schengen state issues my visa, as long as I can enter Greece without any problems.

However, it is not this easy. Other than the usual information needed, such as passport and air ticket, they ask me to provide an invitation from my contact in Greece. Wait a minute, am I going there for business? I questioned myself when I heard this from my travel agent. Why do I have to provide an invitation when I am only going there for holiday? Moreover, they also ask for a bank statement of which the amount of USD3000 is the minimum requirement. The third ridiculous thing is that I must have a passport photo that is less than six months old, and it should not be the same as the one I have on my ID card or on my other visas. What the F**K! Why are there so many weird rules for a tourist visa?

Indeed, I am quite cross about these regulations, but I have no choice but comply with these ridiculous rules. I have a passport issued by a country that is truly an independent state but not being recognized as a country. Even the people living on this island are truly rich enough to travel around the world, they world still treat them like they are from the third world. Because we are invisible to the international society! And worse than that, they know we have money and do whatever they can to dig out the money from us.

Maybe I should not complain about how the world treats us. Maybe it is our own government's weak foreign policy that results in such an unequal relationship. If we have established a positive relationship with the EU, even this relationship is done under the table, we probably will not receive such a treatment. The government here only cares about accumulating the numbers of countries which intend to have formal diplomatic relationships with us. Almost all our diplomatic relatioinships are with super weak countries, and they contribute nothing to the development of Taiwan in the international society. Why bothers to use money to buy a fake dilpomatic relationship with those when we can use all our resources to build up a good relationship with powerful countries? It is extremely childish to stop any good interaction with those powerful countries just because they refuse to recognize our political status. How sad it is really happening, and the poeple living on this island are suffering from it.

Still, I have to get that visa, and I have to provide the consulate all those stupid documents. The visa will cost me USD80!

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