Papers Please (But In Real Life)

Well, well well. Looks like I’m still stuck in a peculiar predicament that feels straight out of a video game — Papers Please, to be exact. But instead of an Eastern European border checkpoint, my adventure unfolds in the wonderful world of international travel, complete with two furry co-travelers.

Picture this: I’m all set to embark on a grand journey from The Netherlands to the beautiful Philippines. I’ve got my passport ready, my belongings shipped off, the cats have their vaccination and deworming records listed in their passports and legalized health certificate, the flight is scheduled for NEXT WEEK!

The only catch?

Papers please.

I’m lacking a transit permit for Malaysia.

I sent all my details – full name & address, photos of the cats, vaccination &amp deworming records, microchip number. All was going great, until the person I had contact with stopped responding to me.

I never received the transit permit after supplying the exact information they needed.

So, today I decided to call the Embassy of Malaysia in my country. A friendly man picked up the phone, but told me there’s a man that can help me better, but he was sick and I have to call back on Monday.

So in short: I still have no transit permit and meanwhile, my scheduled travel date creeps closer.

So, here I am, caught in a Papers Please paradox of my own making, trying to navigate the maze of international regulations while maintaining my sanity and a semblance of humor. It’s a wild ride, my friends, and I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the Philippines at my scheduled date, or I might give the steering wheel a hard swing and go to Eastern Europe instead.

Yep. You read that right. These hiccups on the way to preparing everything for my move to The Philippines got me thinking about staying in Europe and you know what, I can see myself living in a country like Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary. I’m also fully ready and motivated to learn the language, as difficult as I know it would be! To be fair, Tagalog isn’t any easier, but I insist on learning the language of my host country to the best of my abilities.

Meanwhile, my stuff has once again been successfully shipped off to The Philippines and don’t get me wrong – I did not change my mind about The Philippines! It’s just that, if I don’t receive the transit permit, I’m not risking it and I’ll see it as a sign of the Universe to go elsewhere instead. Perhaps I would end up in The Philippines some other time.

For now, here’s to hoping that the Malaysian authorities will send me that elusive transit permit, so that I can continue my journey to the beautiful island of Luzon. Like I’ve been planning for months.

If I do end up in Manila on September 30th and no one asked me for any heccin’ transit permit during the stopover in Malaysia though… I’ma be slightly annoyed. Just slightly.

Like I don’t have enough to deal with at the moment. ~_~

Stay tuned for the next chapter of this head-spinning saga, and remember, sometimes life’s a farce with more hoops to jump through than a circus act.

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