The Kanim in Kota

And so we meet. It’s Friday and I just went to the immigration office in Kota to apply for a passport.

I haven’t slept a tad the night before. But I had to leave the comfort of my home early in order to get the passport done quicker, or so they said. So I packed up all the documents and files the immigration website had advised me to bring. I felt very horrible for skipping two of my Friday morning classes, but this, no matter what it would take, I had to do this.

Being quite early, I decided to take the bus instead of the train, which proved to be a minor fallacy for it took me 2 and a half hour to get to the planned destination, but considering of how much I needed sleep, it was kind of worthwhile. I was unconscious until the bus was closed to Angke. I think it was the smell of the place. I have never been to Angke, and it surprisingly smelled funny. The river stream was coloured in greenish black and looked like a thick mud. This place is the part of Jakarta who have showed me, a suburban, that human are capable of surviving in the smelliest of places. I would never fully fathom the stories of these people (whose nostrils have probably evolved) living on the banks of the river. And this reminds me of…..

“One of the most deep-seated features of the human mind is that it very quickly takes things for granted.” @jonahlehrer on adaptation

In this case, some stuff (as in disgusting smells) which are meant to be taken for granted, are taken for granted, thanks to this deep-seated feature of ours. Alhamdulillah.

Anyways, arriving pretty late than what was expected, I slowed down. Thought, if it had to take all day long, I was already there anyway, I shall embrace this day, It wasn’t every day I get the chance to visit one of the most famous tourist attraction in the capital. It wasn’t every morning, I could pass by the most celebrated and beautiful old buildings in town. And stroll through it I shall.

And yes, in less than 10 minutes, I was meeting the bureaucrats. There was really no need to hurry!

Inside the immigration office, I walked in with the look of I-know-what-I’m-doing-here-so-F-off-calo. Yet, It didn’t take long before a bewildered look was etched upon my face.

The immigration office? There are no absurd things going on in this place. Well, it’s just one of the hundreds of places where people go to issue a passport so they could travel abroad, isn’t it? All in all, it’s a boring place where boring fellas meet and happen to work.

No.

The immigration office? Personally, it’s not boring. It is this upbeat space in which every living thing have to do something so important that every other living thing has to give each and every living thing their ways so each can continue living without taking any halt. It is this place in which the boredom produced by waiting can take many forms. It is the place in which every visible corner is filled by people, from the security guys to a mother with two children, holding maps, checking files, squeezing queuing numbers, half-heartedly reading self-help books, or blankly staring at the queuing info boards. It is this place in which on every passing minute, there are announcements to be made, names and numbers to be called through the blaring microphones. And although most of the people inside the building are sedentary, it is dynamically changing. For me, it is exceptionally noisy and lively and quite a competitive arena in which every one wants to finish faster than everybody else.

Upbeat, lively, is it really so?

What about those working behind the desks and walls? What about those who keep this place running? They are the select ones, I presume. The ones who can stand the tedious paper works from 9 to 5. They are those who won’t go insane being surrounded by stacks after stacks of paper and of files of the people they’d just know from the copied paper of birth certificates.

And since I haven’t done my Operating System Lab assignment, I may conclude that these two ecosystems live and support but silently complain about each another for as long as no improvements to the issuing passport system done.

Happy queuing!
M

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