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Persona non grata

Perhaps the title is exaggerated and only show my ignorance about external affairs
vocabulary. But the newspapers just do the same and I could say a word or two to the
one who pushed me into that trouble… The fact is quite simple to describe: I just
got expulsed from Thailand.

Well, I really did nothing illegal to my understanding of the term but I was made
to feel like I was a bad guy. Not by thai authorities but by the airlines. What matter
most is what I did not do: I failed to ask for a thai visa at home. More precisely,
I failed to ask the Thai embassy if the information in local newspapers and internet
are true – they all claimed Romanians are eligible to buy Thai visa on arrival at
BKK airport.

Well, it is not true, or maybe not yet… But enough to get expulsed out of the country.
So first lesson is that even if you do not pass immigration control and stay in the
so called international area of an airport, in fact you are tolerated there and considered
on the state soil. Second thing is that if you get an expulsion decision then several
things happen – at least in Thailand: 1. you lose your passport that remains at all
times with immigration authorities; 2. you do not have access at your checked bags,
but maybe to extract some small things out for personal use; 3. some guard is appointed
to follow you, or you are appointed to follow the guard at all times; 4. you lose
your normal passenger rights (details later); 5. you are normally embarked in the
first flight to your home country.

Now all the actions immigration service is taking have only one end, to take you out
of the country as soon as possible. But the financial side rest on the airline you
used for the inbound flight. Therefore I was put China Southern’s hands because i
flew to Bangkok from Guangzhou with this airline.

All people treat you well there but there is some continuous suspicion behind the
scene that you start feeling shortly. First sign is that nobody really take any time
to explain what is happening to you. You have to figure it out by yourself. For instance
very soon you are moved to some underground room. I was allowed to stay in the office
next to the interrogation room perhaps because I was European. Therefore I could spend
some 90 minutes trying to extract information from the office walls. So I could understand
myself what is happening just looking to the report tables written with markers on
the walls. Apparently I was number 11 to be added to the list. Just after 2 nigerians
and one Cameroon guy. On the list were most Nigerians but I could also see one Canadian.
On another list were written some statistics. The row with the label VISA was totally
empty. Therefore the conclusion: Thai immigration was working on my expulsion file.
They simply refused the entry without asking a single question.

 

Well, after this I was informed I should leave Thailand with first opportunity and
stay only in transit area until such event. So I got myself a nice guardian that slept
all night on a chair in front of my hourly hotel room in the terminal. Next day she
followed me until changed places with a fresh colleague. I tried to change my Singapore
Airlines ticket for that day, easy thing to do but finally when I reached the gate
they refused to embark me. Then I decided to buy a new ticket directly to home, from
Air France, a company that I am frequent flier with. After this I was informed that
apparently any company may refuse to embark me even if I paid for the ticket. The
flight was due for take off at 11pm, so I needed to wait all day in the transit area
first to see if Air France will accept me, second for boarding and leave.

Interesting that the new guardian watched me from 8am to 11pm continuously. Of course
I could eat and go to toilets but never got my passport until boarding was started.

Later on I heard that in Thailand in this situation people must not argue with immigration.
If so, one may never be allowed to enter this country. So I think I am lucky as I
never argue…

 

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