I was really tempted to entitle this post "My Experience with the Embassy of India in Manila" Part 2, but realized there was something good that came out from my frustrating attempt to get my visa at the Indian embassy in Manila.
In the last post, frustration was high as I learned that there were key procedures in the visa application that was not published and made known to the public until you reach the area where the Indian embassy is located. But I played their game and followed the necessary procedures to get my application through. To make the long story short, on April 29 (Monday) I learned my expedited visa was approved and the embassy will send me my passport with the visa during their batch sending April 30 (Tuesday), 7:00pm.
However, I'll be leaving Manila for a short trip in Singapore on May 1 (Wednesday). According to the embassy, the courier will be able to deliver the passport on May 2 since May 1 is Labor Day, which is a public holiday. I told the embassy staff of my situation I suggested that I personally pick up my passport on April 30 afternoon. She replied the embassy will entertain me once I reach their office PROVIDED I get past though the village security. (Remember, the security people will strictly not let people in the area without a proper appointment.)
I inquired the embassy staff if our conversation constituted an "appointment" and she said 'no' and she was in no position to schedule appointments. I was dumbfounded and I asked how can I get my already approved passport. She told me to bring my receipt and show it to the guards as I enter the village but it does not guarantee entry. She just told me if I get in the village, I'll be able to get my passport before they deliver it to the courier.
At that point, it was clear what I needed to do: get inside the village by all legal means. I tried to think of elaborate schemes to get part though the guards, something Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible would do. After running out of Wile E. Coyote-type of ideas, I asked Prof. Purba Rao some advice and she told me to call up one of the consuls and request for an appointment. She game a phone number and told me to call around 9am the next morning to request the appointment. I profusely thanked Prof. Rao for her help. "Wow, profs in AIM are really helpful," I told myself.
April 30, 9am came. I dialed the number and it was not working.
What did I do next? I'll share it in the next post.