Published: December 1st 2006December 1st 2006
As I stand in the queue, at around 7am on a cold and slightly wet winters morning, I make acquaintances with others who are heading in the same direction as me, to the whole in the wall and to India. Consulate General of India located in Birmingham, is a bit like stepping into India itself. The smell, the decor, and 'no-expense-spared-my-arse' environment makes you wonder how a country so advanced in so many ways has not got up to speed with commercial appearance. You have to get there for 7am to get a ticket early enough when the doors open at 9.30am so you can hand in a Visa Application and collect it in the afternoon.
It turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience however, spending my time talking to several people in the queue. A medical consultant was on his 7th trip abroad for a get-together in India, a family for Kerala with two very energetic children had to go home because someone was ill, however the son (about 5) was with an expired passport and postal renewal would take 2 months. Two brothers were going back for their holiday from college, studing Accountancy... something quite unusual for Indians! The elder brother had lost he passport so had to get a new one quick before he flew out on his paid for tickets.
So there I have, on the 1st day of the month, my 1st experience of my trip to India begins - right here, at home, in Birmingham.