Friday, September 07, 2007

My Humble Conclusion

I have concluded, from my very limited (read: next to nil) experience, that the best time to arrive in London is at noon—when the immigration officers have just had their lunchbreak (and therefore too sleepy to bother with incoming travelers like moi) or going into lunchbreak (therefore too hungry to bother with incoming travelers like moi)!

I just figured that must be one of the reasons why I breezed through the whole process of coming into merry old England. The biggest problem I had was not being able to produce my letter of invitation from the college. “You should have brought it with you,” said Mr. Immigration Officer, looking at me sternly. “I’m sorry, but I gave it to your Embassy already when I had to submit all my requirements to get my student visa.” I said, widening my chinky eyes ever so innocently (a feat). Which to me means, “Hello, don’t you have records?! It’s YOUR government who gave me a student visa…”

Anyway, I somehow had the last say. He then kindly directed me to the Health officer. I got there and the lady in the counter asked me for results from a recent chest x-ray. “Huh?!” Nobody ever told me that! No, don’t worry, I wasn’t too cheeky this time. I just said, “I didn’t bring them with me, but I’ve had a chest x-ray and I did have my medicals done when I applied to the college.” She goes back into the office, called somebody and spent a few minutes chitchatting, I guess, about me. She comes out and says, “Well, the radiologist says you don’t need to have another x-ray since you got it done back in your country…so, could you have somebody send it over?” I said yes and that was it, I was sent off my merry way with the needed stamp on the back of my travel card. I went back to another immigration counter, handed the card to a nice lady staff. “Oh, lovely!” she says with a smile as she handed me my passport. I never had a more pleasant experience going through any immigration (even our own). I guess these guys just had lunch.

After collecting my luggage (and yes, Barbie Bag came along for the trip) I went to the sign that says 'NOTHIN TO DECLARE' and wondered if I would get into trouble with my instant Lucky Mee Pancit Canton…only to stroll through because there was no one around to man the counters. I guess they were on lunchbreak! Everything took less than an hour.

So I offer you my humble conclusion: that the best time to arrive is noon (and maybe this works in any airport in any country!)

30 comments:

tutubi said...

hmmm...have yet to try your suggestion to arrive at noon. that time gutom na rin ako :(

Annamanila said...

I dunno ... i don't care the time of day and won't mind any hassle as long as they're manageable eventually, just take me back to heathrow. :)

Wow an adventure awaits our gypsy. I toss you a blessing in the name of the divine three and a kiss that flies more speedily than light from here to where you are.

What suburbs in England?

sillyserious said...

good to know u are safe and had breezed through immigration :) 'wonder if 'lucky me' tastes different when eaten in london. hehe... God speed, gypsy!

snglguy said...

Great! I'll remember that when I fly to the UK on, on... ah heck, it's not as if I'm going anywhere. :-D

BTW, swerte mo di ka mukhang taga middle east. They are the ones getting the full brunt of the "sungit" from immigration people.

Marilyn said...

Good to hear you arrived there well and with pancit in tow! I wonder if you are as cold there as I am in Canada!

Wil said...

The only airport I had a potential problem with was NAIA on my way back to the states. I had legally changed my first name but my passport still showed my old name even though it was appended saying I now have a new name. The guy at the desk would not let me through despite my protests. AFter several minutes, the thought of being stranded in Manila ran through my mind. he eventually talked with his co-worker (maybe a supervisor) and he begrudgingly let me through. That bugger. hehe

kathy said...

Interesting theory you have there, hehe. It really is a silly thing that the immigration people would still ask for documents you already submitted for the visa application. I've had my fair share of "makukulit" immigration officials (not UK, though).

Glad to know you arrived there safe and sound, Gypsy! God bless on your new adventures!!!

vernaloo said...

"oh lovely"

wehehehe so british....tsk tsk tsk...kakainggit :)

well yeah lunchbreak at the same time dahil hindi mo kamukha si Bin Laden hahahaha

buti naman at easy-breezy lang mare...glad you arrived safe :) muah!

Ferdz said...

Hmmm... that's agood idea. I guess if ever we come to London, we'll book a flight which arrives sometime at noon. Thanks for the tip there.

niceheart said...

Oh wow! You have already set foot, err feet :) in England.

What adventures await the gypsy? :)

Gypsy said...

Tutubi, by the time I arrived busog na ako sa airplane food! Hehe..


Anna, thanks! I am with friends in a place called Slough, mejo high end daw..naks! Will have to blog about this...

Aleks, thanks! I am sure Lucky Mee will taste so much more delicious here..!

Snglguy, now that you mentioned it, they WERE particularly lax than, kasi my plane came from Dubai and there were quite a number of Arabs on the plane..

Marilyn, thankfully, its a comfortably cool here with the sun still making a show everyday..its just going into autumn. Have fun with the snow there! :)

Wil, oh wow..! That would cause a big hoo-ha so glad you got through it!

Kathy, thanks! I'm sure you are going to breeze through immigration yourself when you come through. ;)

Verns, oo nga no buti na lang di ko kamukha si Bin Laden..bwehehe...how lovely!

Ferdz, take my advice with a pinch of salt ha...since it is from limited experience..oh, and plus one fact I forgot to mention, I arrived at Gatwick, not Heathrow, so with a smaller and less busier airport I guess security tend to be more lax...

Niceheart, hmm...adventures? Hmm--can't wait for them myself! Hehe!

Charity Lamigo said...

Hi Duday!
Van and I are happy that you arrived well and with stories to tell.
Love you, cha

beng said...

Gypsy! Andyan ka na, tutuo na nga ito. :) HAPPY for you (after all the stress you had to go through before you can finally fly there). Ang galing ni God no, for providing everything you needed. From the scholarship to the request for extra baggage limit. :) Looking forward to your UK kwentos. God bless. :) onk

Gypsy said...

Cha, hey thanks for dropping by my blog..please do keep in touch..would love to know how you guys are doing. Miss you!

Beng, thanks, friend. :) Oo nga galing Nya...plus the accomodation and hospitality of friends here, wala akong masabi talaga.

Swipe said...

That's lovely. quite lovely. they do like to say lovely, don't they? They also like to say brilliant. and it is just brilliant that just landed in the old kingdom. I do hope you have a brilliant and lovely time.

ipanema said...

ay, alam ko nasa UK ka na. iba na flag mo pag pumasok ka sa blog ko...hahahaha. Sa Gatwick ka pala nag land. That's south of London.

hmmmm, bago lang impose ang UK ng X-ray sa airport. Kung wala ka pa non, dun daw mismo X-ray then if they found something, balik to the eroplano.

Ay ok pala pag afernoon huh? Sige ingat. Dreary, wet London ba?


Your lovely,
ipanema


pag ganyan ang letter writing ng mga students ko dati, alam ko na teacher nila Brit. :)

the philosphical bastard said...

I always tell myself when i'm with an immigration officer:

1. say less than necessary
2. talk like you're the nicest person in the world
3. praise their country

so far i've never been declined. :P

Leah said...

Weehee! You're off to another adventure and with tips to boot on the first day. all the best and have fun.

Gypsy said...

Swipe, how lovely of you to say that--and yes, I do hope I will have a brilliant time here..:)

Ipanema, oh really? Your lovely?! Hmmm...will see how my Brit friends react to me using that! The weather's been amazingly great--sunny and dry! It's been lovely! ;)

Pao, good on you (as the Brits would say)! Hehe..

Leah, thanks! It's already begun! I just need to find time to work on the photos and post another blog! Weee!

chesca (exskindiver) said...

happy new home gyps.
will look forward to frequent updates.

ipanema said...

hahahaha...try mo, kahit Cambridge Exam - UCLES [GCE 'O' Level exam-which they've abolished more than 20 yrs. ago, ngayin GCSE sila]nila, ganyan pa rin ang closing ng mga bata. hayy, how are you na?

Ah that's good news. Sunny sya. I think the northern part ang dreary kaya.

Sya sige, ingat. It's afternoon here in my place. Yours, tea time? aray ko sandali, bakit ba feel ko englan..eh eng eng fala ako.

Anyway, sige post naman fektyurs if you have time to gala na. take the cab. tingnan mo kung sinong mas madaldal na driver. ang ating mga taxi driver or kanilang cab driver.

BTW, I have something for you in my blog. :)

Toe said...

Oh good you got there fine! :) And I'm glad that Barbie bag is fine too and Lucky Mee as well. :)

major tom said...

I'll take this advise...if ever i get to London in the future...although it's such a wild idea as of this time...:-)

Jap said...

Hope you settled down just fine =) Will there be pictures soon? hehehe Take care, gypsy =)

Gypsy said...

Ipanema, something for moi?? Hmm...ano kaya yon..pictures comin' soon...still have to find the time thought and am using my hosts pc kasi...

Toe, yup they're fine, so's TK and CK ;) TK's been workin really hard..must post photos soon..!

Major Tom, well, who knows, mate! It was a wild idea for me a few years back and see where I am now...so...???

Jap, yup, I have a post already but just need to sort my photos out pa....hopefully soon!

zherwin said...

blimey! anjan ka na pala, grabe andami kong namiss! sige habol ako.

keep safe mate! (harry potter accent hihihihi).

aryo said...

I don't why, pero kabado ako lagi pag nasa immigration counter. Feeling ko lagi idedeport ako. Kahit pa dito pa lang ako sa Pinas, he he.

Lucky me in England? Wow, sosyal! :-)

freeze said...

my friend just left for UK too two weeks ago for Manchester University and seemed to be enjoying her new life there. good luck and have the time of your life. :D

ipanema said...

Thanks Gypsy. Hope you settling just fine. Saka ka na mag blog pag settled na ikaw comfortably. Sige, Happy Sunday! :)

Gypsy said...

Zherwin, speaking of Harry Potter, do you know that the church where part of the movie is filmed is here in my neck of the woods??? Will check it out one of these days...

Aryo, ako rin actually nagiging kabado sometimes but usually my fears are unfounded, and I am sure, so are yours!

Freeze, thanks! Heard Manchester's a nice place too, am sure your friend will enjoy it as well. :)

Ipanema, thanks and hope to get to your tags soon!!