How I found myself stuck in an airport

When we go to a foreign country we have to take care of the visas and all that burocratic shit. Being european and traveling mostly in European Union, with the open borders I only used a passport a couple of times, so, when when I went to Israel last year, I made my homework:

What do I need?

 

A passport, and a visa, but being Portuguese the visa is asked at the airport and they give us that in the moment, it lasts for 3 months and you’re in with no problems.

 

With this information I haven’t looked for anything else, and bear in mind that I asked this information directly to the Israeli embassy in Lisbon, and not just googled it.

 

First of all I took an interesting route, most people look at me weirdly when I explain how can I find cheap flights, but the problem in Portugal is that you can fly cheaply to a couple of places but unfortunately not to everywhere, so what I normally do, is to fly to a city that as cheap connections for where I wanna go (either Geneva or London mainly) and then fly from there to my destination.

That was my first “mistake” I went from here to Geneva and from Geneva to Tel Aviv, I’ll explain why this was a mistake later on, for now, I’ll guide you through my adventure to get to Israel.

 

After a couple of days enjoying Geneva (is way too expensive, but at least is one of those places where I don’t need to look for a place to stay), I went to the airport on the beginning of my first solo adventure outside of Europe.

Everything went normal at first, passing security, going to my boarding gate, all the normal steps to go into a flight, my surprises begun when I needed to pass a second security check to enter the waiting room to my flight. And this security screening was much more detailed, they even used something that I imagine is used to search for explosives residues, since they use something to scrub our hands, shoes, and some specific parts of the backpack. Just this was something that put me thinking “What the hell was I thinking for going alone to Israel?”.
And then comes the waiting room, where there where lot of Orthodox Jews that kept on praying constantly while we were waiting. But the worst of all was the flight, I never had so much turbulence as in this flight, it was so bad, that the girl seated next to me ( acute young Orthodox  couple) even trow up, that was definitely not a good moment for me, stuck in a corner between a window and a girl throwing up.
I finally arrived at Tel Aviv Airport, and after walking for ages to the passport control, I had to wait for about 30 m to finally get to my turn, and that’s when I started thinking that I wasn’t even entering in the country:

It all begin with the girl in the passport control starting to asking me questions:

Why are you coming to Israel?

Tourism

Where are you staying?

Hostel in Florentine neighborhood

Where are you coming from?

Geneva

Where are you from?

Portugal? (and that’s why I think that going trough Geneva caused some “lost time”)

How long will you stay?

5 days

Where are you going then?

Barcelona (everything is cheaper than coming directly to Portugal)

And then she looked at me and told me, “I’ll keep you’re passport here and I need you to go to that room over there please.”

And, I obviously started panicking, but went to the room she told me too. And then came the second WTF moment, when I entered that room, there was a young woman, probably american and everyone else were arabic guys, and then me, a blonde european looking woman, with a pair of ripped jeans and a somewhat air of someone who works to some NGO (I convinced myself that this was the reason why they made me wait).

About an hour later, after seeing some of the guys leaving in direction to other room, and some more guys entering the room where I was, a woman called my name. And there I went:

And the woman started the conversation saying:

I’m a cop.

Ok. (obviously, if you have my f*cking passport, and I’m still out of Israel officially)

After that, the questions began again (and were exactly the same):

Why are you coming to Israel?

Tourism

Where are you staying?

Hostel in Florentine neighborhood

Where are you coming from?

Geneva

Where are you from?

Portugal?

How long will you stay?

5 days

Where are you going then?

Barcelona

Ok, everything seems fine, here’s your passport, and here’s your visa.

 

 

And I was in Israel, after over 2 hours in the airport.

 

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, just keep calm answer what they’re asking you and wait.
Did you ever find yourself stopped at a border?

 

PS: I don’t have pictures of the airport.

Wanderer Wannabe

A wanderer wannabe, photographer wannabe, storyteller wannabe, creative wannabe basically a weirdo unicorn that wants to travel the world and show you how beautiful it is.

One thought on “How I found myself stuck in an airport

  • November 12, 2015 at 8:30 pm
    Permalink

    Oh my… What an ordeal… I wouldn’t know what to do. I would have thought someone was trying to frame or kidnap me. Its good everything turned out fine.

    Reply

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