Holy moly, that was the worst day since I started traveling.
I slept actually ok on the flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur. We arrived a bit late and I was worried the whole time, how I would make my way from the international airport to the Local cheap carrier to catch my plane to Vietnam.
Anyway, it was much easier and smoother than I thought. The taxi ride was ok and arrived on time to check in.
Had to put my luggage through security first, and so did 1000 Asians. Totally chaotic, no cueing, just pushing and arguing to get forward.
Finally at the check in, the lady asked for my visa. Visa? Visa for what? Oh that one, oh no I don't have a visa. Great Marie.
I started panicking, but strangely calmed down immediately. Sat down on the side, started thinking. Went to air Asia sales desk, who sent me to the service desk, that meant I had to go through security again. And again with 1000 others.
Service desk was able to hold my ticket open for 1 day, but I had to apply for a visa, which he said should arrive within 24h.
I sat down down and found a free wifi connection and was able to apply for an " urged visa" which would arrive within 4h. Hopefully.
Ok, I walked around, had some food, went on a massage chair, and all of a sudden 3 h were gone and my visa was in my mail box. Great. I stormed off, again through the bag security - by now I already had 3 security stickers on my bag- straight to the desk and proudly presented my visa. Well, the guy said, I need that printed, not on your mail. Ah printed, yeah hang on, I have a travel printer in my bag...!
So I went to an exclusive launch and paid to get a print out.
And back through, yes correct, security...sticker no 4.
The guy said I should come back at 2.10 pm , he put me on stand by and said all flight were really full.
This time I waited in the security zone and went back at 2. Well, I tried to. So many people were pushing in all directions, there was no way I would get through. I am far too polite. Asian have no manners, it sounds rude, but it's a fact. I was the only white person there, which didn't help either.
Finally I made it, because an Asian women pulled me on my arm forward. We were all hanger over the counter, waving our print outs into the guys face.
2.55 flight full and gone. Please come back at 6pm and we will see if you can get on the 6.50 flight. Really?
Went to Starbucks for free wifi. Battery completely dead, of both ipad& phone. Bought a plug as mine didn't fit, so at least I cud charge. Sat there for 2h.
Honestly, I felt like Tom Hanks in " the terminal".
Could go on and on, but this has to come to an end now. I got on the 6.50 flight, paid a fortune for the ticket change, sat another 2h at the gate as flight was delayed. But at least I had my visa and a seat on the plane.
Finally, I arrived at 9.30pm in Ho Chi Min City. Straight to immigration, passport control...and....tata...my visa was not a visa, it was just the invitation.
So back to another office, filled out forms, had to provide a passport pic, which I had for whatever reason in my bag. I had to pay, of course for it, but had no dollars or Vietnamese Dong on me. Got a special letter from security who graded me out the airport to find an ATM. Got money, went back in and finally had a sticker in my passport.
All sorted, I met Verena's diver who fortunately was still there and waiting for me.
And so arrived at her house in Saigon, after a very very long day....!