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The Leaning Tower of Visa

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Ah, the Visa process. This whole process just installs panic and then some more panic. The word Schengen has become a ridiculously hateful word to me. I want to marvel at some European wonders and spend money in the streets of Mediterranean ports, but all these strict rules and regulations for the application of a Schengen visa just takes the fun out of travel.

For the last few weeks the blue and yellow flag of the European Union haunted my dreams, my nightmares and my daydreams. I’ve never dreaded the results of anything so much. Scenarios’ constantly run through my head of officials enjoying tea over my application and laughing at my photo.

I do not have a criminal record of any sort, but what about my numerous speeding fines? Will they see me as irresponsible and capable of burning down Rome? I should probably hide all my photos on Facebook just in case the Consular of Spain has taken up Facebook Stalking.

What is all the fuss about?

The Schengen Agreement is a lovely treaty signed on the river-boat Princess Marie-Astrid in the middle of the River Mosel near the town of; yes you guessed it, Schengen, Luxembourg. Ten years later in 1995 the Amsterdam Treaty was signed, creating the Schengen-Acquis and shaping European travel as we know it today. Without this stamp, you will not see the inside of the Schengen Area. Attempting a secret swim from Algeria would probably be your next best bet.

With a checklist consisting of eight different requirements, I slowly start ticking them off. The list includes basics such as financial means, itinerary and photos, all with their separate requirements. If these Spaniards do not give me my visa then I’ll have no choice but to.... Ok, I don’t know how seriously threats on informal blogs are taken, but I’ll just stop my thoughts right there. Just in case.

Just thinking about the process tires me out, but in the end all the paranoia and anxious pacing was for nothing. I received my visa with a little note saying: Thank you for your beautifully put together visa application. Well, not really... Who has time to write thank you notes anyway?

Now the final countdown starts. I'll be leaving on a jet plane in 16 days.

Spain: See you in 17 days!
Laraine: See you in 18 days!

First stop: Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Posted by Anja Fourie 12:04 Archived in South Africa Tagged spain visa preparation european_union mallorca schengen_visa Comments (1)

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