lunedì 4 maggio 2009


06/02 Somewhere in the border waters between australia and singapore....

Yeah, of course: mountains, seas and then rivers I will cross, but paper-made: bureaucracy, as sad as it sounds, is the real traveler's nemesis. The hardest legs of World to pass through are indeed the borders with their mountain chains of “international agreements” and their wall-ferns of controls and customs, the boisterous rivers of stupidity regularly swelled up by bureaucrats and the desolate deserts of niggling and uncritical enforcement of rules.
One of these requirements that I hate most is the necessity of showing with evidences that you will leave the country you are entering. Naturally I understand it, and I would even agree on the benefit of such a rule somehow.
The annoying flip side is that most of the times is not enough to show probative documents of personal liquid assets covering staying and leaving the country, but a payed outbound ticket (better on a plane) with a specific date is required.
Now, as clear as the day is light, this for me, and everyone who is willing to travel hitch hiking boats, is quite a problem as, when a new place is reached, both destination and transport further on are all to be searched (and found) in most of the cases. Even supposing to have already some kind of agreement with another boat, authorities will always scowl such kind of “onward transport” so that will be easily rejected or restricted to some impossible conditions (as happen to us in that caribbean island when they required the captain of the yacht to come at the airport with all the boat's document as proof).

Such a situation doesn't leave much choice to the traveller who builds up his destination day by day: three are the main options.
The only one perfectly legal is to buy an onward air ticket fully refundable, but that entails one big disadvantage and a second minor one: the biggest one is that this kind of flight is generally quite expensive, and even if soon or later will be actually refunded in the meantime it will hack personal liquid assets and the credit card limit for that month. The minor disadvantage is some cancellation fee that will be charged in any case, beside the waste of time involved by the whole operation.
Another option is to print a fake ticket or booking to be shown with nonchalant. This method works pretty well with immigration officers (who very unlikely will take the effort to check with the airline) and can be used on the spot; otherwise if you are flying inbound with the intention of looking for a boat it might not work as it is the flight company itself that, at the check in, could easyly verify the validity of the booking (on the contrary such a thing would required the immigration officer to do some bothering phone call or even to stand up from the chair). Moreover some company will very likely check as they are forced by the authority of the country they fly in to pay for the fight back of the passenger found devoid of all the due documents. In short, if we can manage somehow to board the plain, the likelihood of being rejected by immigration on arrival are poor, as we are supposed to have been checked already.
In the case of being actually checked trying to plead for a malfunction of internet booking never hurts. Nonetheless eventually we could be forced to actually buy an outbound ticket (don't be tempted to buy the cheapest one, very few times it will be cheaper than the cancellation fee of a more expensive one).
If for any reason the latter was not possible would only remain the third option: try to corrupt the controller. This third way is obviously quite risky and fully illegal, without saying that succeeding is quite unlikely in most of the cases. Those willing to pursue this path in any case should bear in mind some general rules:
once started is a one way game: the only chance of success is to actually make the controller accepting the money under the table, that means if we don't guess the right amount of money at the first shot we'll be forced to a prolong raise, without even be sure of succeeding.
It requires a ready to spend amount of cash that we will hardly have.
On a strategic point of view to catch the right amount of money at the first guess is as hard as important: if you bid low to rise later in case your opponent will feel free to rise at his own peace.
Make the corrupted officer empathizing is a key-factor and it needs to always play on the edge, with ambiguity and diplomacy: never be direct, it is definitely not about paying money in order to turn a blind eye to a violation of yours, it is simply about “find a little shortcut, an easier alternative more convenient for everyone in order to skip long and boring waste of time and money”...
In any case always bear in mind that fail in this kind of game can lead to a range of very unpleasant situations, from the loss of all your money beside the purpose to the loss of the purpose, all your money, and imprisonment for a quite serious crime.

So that is more or less what you need to know before approaching a border, and the bottom line I think is clear: be as prepared as possible, well informed on the rules and requirements of the country you want to enter, dress wisely and act so in order to avoid any unrequested attentions, and if you will really have to lie practice a lot home and support your effort with the best fake papers you can (it means credible but nothing too official, as nobody will see any malice in a questionable air ticket you definitely don't want to be convicted as a passport forger...)

2 commenti:

franco carlo ha detto...

Naturalmente ti risponderò nel dolce italico idioma,la lingua più musicale che esista,dovessi tu ahimé,per ventura....
dimenticarla,costretto come sei ad usare giornalmente,per necessità pratiche e per i bloggers tuoi amici,la cacofonica lingua inglese punteggiata a volte di slang americo-australiano.Quando,da ragazzo lavoravo alla Quantas
Airlines ringraziavo Iddio di essere nato in Italia!Ma che ti aspettavi da quei grandi bevitori di birra?
(Pensa che ho visto con i miei occhi un crew australiano di 5 persone che prima di imbarcarsi "on duty" si sono scolate 50 birre!)
certo che dopo le romantiche Isole Marchesi e Suwarrow l'impatto con Sydney deve essere stato terrificante.
A prescindere dalla burocrazia che sì, ormai è la nemesi del viaggiatore.Purtroppo l'immigrazione clandestina,il
terrorismo internazionale e il traffico di droga, portano queste spiacevoli conseguenze.
In realtà la paura è il vero sottofondo animico della vita civile odierna.Sì,ormai è quasi impossibile costruirti
un viaggio giorno per giorno,troverai sempre qualche agente che ti guarda storto,diffidando delle tue buone ragioni e magari ...di un biglietto aereo falso!!!Però i tuoi preziosi consigli potresti stamparli come "vademecum del
viaggiatore" da distribuire nelle agenzie di viaggio...a rischio e pericolo di chi li vuole usare integralmente!.

matbenedetti ha detto...

My compliments for your nice advices about quasi-clandestine migration. Particularly about your phenomenology of bribing. I was just wandering... which kind of researches or tests have you done on the topic? Obviously, I prefer u to avoid a written answer