Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Passport Office Serenade

And she emerges from the buried depths of the slough of days and stress. With a mallet of doom. And a shield called 'ALL STRESS MUST DIE!' and a sword named 'GO AWAY IF YOU DON'T NEED IT NOW'...

It -has- been a horribly stressy and busy month, with work taking up the biggest chunk of it, and choir and chamber choir coming in a close second - but those are RELAXING busy chunks of it. Our first chamber choir performance will be end of May now (Constance! I'll give you a date when I remember it!) and then the acapella competition got pushed up to August 11th --and then June is the vocal student recital I'm supposed to take part in, July is -my- co-recital with one of our tenors, and November is Asian Choir Games in Jakarta...

Yeah! Breaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe. Zombie shuffle. Breaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe!

We're in the process of booking flight tickets for the Asian Choir Games, and since booking flight tickets to Jakarta on Air Asia now requires a passport number, I took the day off Monday this week to go perch in Purgatory *cough* --I mean, the wet market *COUGH COUGH* --I MEAN the passport office to get it seen to. There's inevitably a line outside the door even before it opens at 8am, so I was advised to go there early to avoid too long a queue. That would mean waking up at 6-ish, getting out of the house latest by 7am, and voila, things ought to be a little less harried.

So of COURSE, I overslept.

The sight of a woman blurrily looking at her alarm clock, giving a SCREECH to rival all the banshees in every castle in Europe and leaping out of bed like someone poured pink paint on her hair was probably highly amusing for anyone looking in from the outside. I think I got out the door in a record 10 minutes, give or take some for finding my keys and cursing how long it took to get the padlock on the front door open.

The passport office resembled a fishmarket with queues enough to go around the world circumference and still have room to spare. And more people were arriving, and there is only so much space in the world, however big an office is built, to accomodate JUST so many people.

And this was only 8.45am.

It's possible to get one's passport here done in 2 hours after you make payment, so the process is actually very -fast-. It's the -waiting- time and the lining up that takes forever and many braincells dying.

So what do you do when you're stuck in the simmering, muttering, wet-market atmosphere of a million bodies all grousing about wanting to pick up their travel documents fast?

If you're me, you pull out the mp3 player, the choir scores, and treat the people sitting around you to the glorious strains of 'Oklahoma' - specifically the screechy soprano special chorus section at the end. Or the tongue-twistingly fast Mongolian Horses. Or 'Caro Mio Ben' (Ale, that's the name of that Italian song I'm singing now!)...you get the picture.

And after that? In revenge for all the crankiness being sent your way, you blithely pull out a sketch pad and sketch the CRANKIEST section in the waiting room. Ignoring the -glares- sent your way.

Mind you, I was impressed. The officials were so very nice and helpful and cheerful despite the awful crush of people. It's the people they were -serving- that were grumpy and irritable.

Anyway to cut a long story short, 3.45pm I got my passport, hauled my butt home, and went to choir rehearsals till midnight.

But that's another story.

And here are the sketches to prove it (no, they're not great, but I was BORED...)



1 comment:

Thomas Schüle said...

Hi, we put your story on our homepage www.asianchoirgames.com and there to YOUR STORY, please check. This is the homepage of the 1st ASIAN CHOIR GAMES Jakarta 2007.
Please write me your full name and maybe more stories? Im the Director International Relations of Asian Choir Games. Please mail: schuele@musica-mundi.com
See you in Jakarta!
Thomas