• Jan Frederik

The Daily Dialogue # 4

Friendships can be found everywhere!

A few things had to be taken care of in my home country ...

... and furthermore it was time to leave Dubai to renew my three-month residence permit (while my permanent residence id card is being processed) so a flight ticket was cleared.

Luggage was limited to a single cabin suitcase, a taxi was booked and the trip was well on its way.

Are you sure, you really know the visa rules!?

At the airport, my passport's electronic Smart Gates endorsement, oddly enough, did not work, so I was referred to a manual passport check. Here, too, the handling did not go smoothly as was the rule. However, I was shown even further into the control area to a special passport officer, who checked my passport and found that I had exceeded my stay in Dubai with 52 days.

Please pay a fine of AED 5,200 (about DKK 10,000) - AED 100 for each exceeded day. And he nodded toward a small office that would receive my payment.

Before I went to the cashier office, however, the officer had to listen to some objections.

"I'm sure it's no more than 3 months ago I last checked into Dubai, you can see my arrival flight data here"

- The rules are such that when you have been in Dubai for three months, you have to be out of the country for three months, before you can get a visa again.

"I have many friends who have just taken a weekend trip to Oman and then come back with new, extended visas!"

- No, it can't be done - three months out of the country and then back.

“But what do I do about returning? I've booked a flight ticket back to Dubai in four days already? ”

- It can't be done, you have to be out of the country for three months. You can try to apply for a short-term visa through your airline or others.

My objections were completely lost on the young officer, and I had to go the heavy way to the cashier office and pay my fine.

With a receipt for a paid fine, I was allowed to slip through the passport control via a door behind the counter.

Then it was just about getting an application for a short-term visa started, so that I could return to Dubai four days later. Fortunately, I am privileged as far as knowing several visa-competent people to whom I could pour out my trouble. So in the end I succeeded to obtain a short-term visa for 2 months, paying AED 500.

My inattention and carelessness in dealing with the visa rules cost me AED 5,700. And there was only one to reproach for the situation, namely myself.

Is there anything to be learned from this?

So absolutely!

Never take for granted that you know a country's visa rules (or that they are, for example, identical to a neighboring country's rules!). Check, check - and check again!

Renewal of driver's license

That my driver's license had to be renewed in the very near future, was one of the things I had become aware of, and therefore had decided to take care of during the short stay in my home country.

I made an online reservation at the municipality's office for driver's license renewal.

It turned out that you can apply for an express driver's license if special circumstances play a prominent role.

In my case, the special conditions could be that I had to travel to Dubai within a few days and that I had a rented car standing and waiting for me.

The special conditions had to be documented, copy of air ticket, copy of car lease contract.

Both were accepted by the municipality's office, which then contacted the driver's license manufacturer to inquire if the documentation was ok seen from their point of view as well.

The inquiry turned out positive. The municipality's completed papers were wrapped up in an addressed envelope and a taxi was requested to deliver the papers to the driver's license manufacturer (fixed price paid by the driver's license requester).

And I was told that upon presentation of my passport I could collect my new driver's license at the manufacturer's place within 2 hours.

Many things are to like in Denmark - the winter weather not being one of them

Rain in Denmark - at the same time alternatively use of umbrellas in Miracle Garden, Dubai

Conversation with Danish-Kurdish taxi driver

Two hours later I hired a taxi to drive me to the driver's license manufacturer.

In keeping with my traditionally well-established tradition of talking to people on my way, of course I also had to talk to the taxi driver.

It didn't take long before we knew each other's life course and life situation very well. And we both found that we were actually satisfied with life, maybe even happy.

The driver was a Turkish Kurd and had been in Denmark for more than 40 years. Throughout all the years he had worked in a number of different jobs. He was married to a Turkish woman and together they had four children, all of whom were doing well in education and jobs. No wonder his pride clearly shone through every word he uttered.

At times it certainly had been difficult for him, but he had succeeded!

Then we became a bit philosophical and talked about how amazing a creature

man really is.

The talk did not develop into a 'naive' conversation, because quickly we also focused on how, unfortunately, we humans are also able to destroy the possibilities of existence for each other.

My fundamental belief, that it will eventually be possible for people to live fruitfully and at peace with each other, was greatly challenged by the alarming religious and ethnic purgings the driver had knowledge of from Turkey. Actual conditions that many live under daily.

This led to a discussion of whether similar events could take place in Denmark. Here we agreed upon that it was extremely unlikely. But the taxi driver pointed out several conditions that could upset him. Among other things, he was very indignant at the vandalism of tombs that occasionally occurred. One mantra on his part, and which he repeated on a regular basis, was that "the few should not be allowed to destroy things for the many". And then he called for the parents to become better at taking on their responsibility for the children's upbringing! An education that cannot be left to teachers and educators.

When we were back at the starting point of the tour, we were both quite upset that the trip was no longer. We parted with a handshake, and a slightly moved taxi driver thanked for the good company, which I acknowledged with the best wishes for him, his family and friends.

Good conversations and friendships are everywhere - all you have to do is to "pick them up".

© 2020 Copyright Jan Frederik Bisbjerg