01.08.2014 Cardiff, UK
I received a text message saying “The decision on your application No XXX has been made and you can collect your passport” (I would not call it as a passport). The following day I just left all my plans for the day and “ran” to the Visa Centre in London. I was standing in a queue. The people who had come earlier were coming out with an envelope in their hands. Most surprisingly, as soon as leaving the visa officer’s desk they were checking their passports. It seemed a bit strange for me, are they so unsure whether they have been issued a visa or not? Then I thought probably they are doing it to make sure whether all details on their visas are correct or not. However, I will not do the same I thought, after I collect my envelope, I will go to the side, take a seat, and take a photo of my visa and send it to my mum on whatsapp. Because I had not told her that, I was going to the Visa Centre to collect my ID, as I wanted to make a surprise for her. Finally, my turn arrived…I went to the side and opened the envelope, but there was no visa. I looked through all pages of my ID twice as I might missed it. Then I found a piece of paper in the envelope which was a letter saying: ”Travel document is not recognized by the Netherlands, therefor not valid to travel to the Netherlands. Please ask for a refund of the visa fee… ” I could not dare to cry or smile. That meant the Netherlands does recognize neither my country’s regulations nor me, I was no one. When I even did not have a thought of not getting a visa, reading this note was a real surprise. Then I just smiled.
08.08.2013. In a bank, Tashkent
– Could you fill in this form please? Have you got the whole amount in cash with you?
– Of course, I have.
– Can I have your passport to make a copy of it?
-Oh, what is this? Wait…Mmm… I am afraid we are not able to issue a card for you.
– Your passport is strange. (I would not call it as a passport)
After a few minutes of my explanation, he rang up the lawyer of the bank to double check, and then started to make a copy. If you could see him, he was acting so slowly as he was putting his own money into my account. His face was blank and I was sure he did not want to issue a card for me at all. I just watched him smiling softly.
25.11.2008 Basics of Constitution, University lecture. Tashkent
Lecturer: Uzbek citizenship is given in the following situations:
- If the person was born in the territory of Uzbekistan and one of his parents was a permanent resident of the country at that time;
- If the person has lived in the territory of Uzbekistan for five years following and respecting all the rules and regulations;
All of my course mates turned me. The lecturer stopped and also looked at me wondering.
- I am sorry, I am afraid that the last point you have mentioned is not in use. I have lived here for 17 years.
- You apply for it and they will issue.
I gave a slight smile in response.
01.08.2007 7:00 am. Just before the university entrance exam. Tashkent
Everyone was worried, and nervous. The girl next to me asked:
- Why colour of your passport is red?
- I had been interviewed before I was issued a passport. I could answer all the questions of the officials very well, so they decided to issue a red one instead of a green.
- Really? Will I able to get changed mine if I ask them interview me too? (Usually educational diplomas and certificates of Uzbek institutions are issued in either red or green (blue) cover. A student with distinction gets the red one whereas others get greens)
I gave a slight smile in response.
All I would like to say if you meet a stateless person whether in business or in a daily situation, please do not stare at him as you have met a terrorist or a person with AIDS. They are also ordinary humans like you, but who always have to prove that they have rights. Also they give slight smiles more often than you.
I wish you that the reasons of your smiles to be different than mine.
With a smile 🙂