Well i’m not gonna lie. I had an awful first impression of Australia thanks to going through their immigration customs officer/experience.
I have this cheerful excited mood when I was about to reach Australia for the very first time, going to see a guy that is more than just a friend again after a few months. That wasn’t the only reason, it was also my first solo trip (youth exchange excluded), to being independent and travelling by myself, to go to a foreign country to meet my current boyfriend (more on the love story next time).
I wasn’t impatient at all when our plane landed early and we had to wait 40 minutes in the plane because our dock was occupied by other planes (so it was a crowded airport). There were some impatient guests that the cabin crew have to ask them to sit down, but I was just patiently waiting since i’m early to the airport, about 920am when our flight was estimated to arrive at 940am.
When we got out finally it’s about 10am, I was all smile and excited when I was going through the crowded customs, then the lady processing my passport told me that just need me to go to a side and a visa officer will come to me. I ask why? No answer. Ok so I follow this officer to the side, he was going around so I thought I should follow (otherwise they be wondering why aren’t i cooperating right?) because he gave instructions that’s so vague, and when I thought I should follow to a room to be question he had to speak so loudly to ask me to stand there. Ok fine.
So a few of us Malaysian passports were being stopped, so when I was being interrogated, he asked:
What company do I work for?
What’s my profession?
How long am I here?
He wants to see my offer letter.
It was already confusing enough because I’m only there for a normal holiday visa, NOT A WORK VISA.
I didnt get wi-fi there, so I had problems accessing my phone. AND dude, if you have worked in your company for say, 5 years. Would you have thought about bringing your offer letter to a country where you’re just going for a vacation? and it would be the back of your treasure of emails isn’t it?
When I was taking a long time to search for the email, the visa officer (named Rajeev, yes i remember) took my phone, and open up my emails, one by one, without my consent. I was dumbstruck. This is how Australian immigration works.
He did not allow me to take back my phone, and until he’s satisfied with opening up the emails, he gave back my phone and just said, ‘You can go now.’
of course, I asked, why he did that, he totally ignore me and repeated ‘You can go now’.
I was on the verge of tears, my first horrible experience with the customs, a girl alone. I couldn’t use my phone to contact my guy, there was no wifi and i wasnt allowed to, it was already holding up my time. At one point I thought about, are they being racist or countrycist (no this word don’t exist but you get the picture)?
And while he asked me to wait just now, I talked to another Malaysian Indian who was stopped by the customs, along with her mom using a wheelchair. So, we both found out we are first timers to come to Australia, and we have the thought probably our country has a bad reputation already.
Out of politeness, when the visa officer said I could go, I told her ‘Have a nice trip’, immediately the visa officer went ‘paranoid’ and fiercely asked her, ‘ You know her?! How do you know her?!’
The last scenario just sounded, oh my god, how is this so stupid? To know that so many asians want to live in australia, after going through such an unpleasant process, nope, i wouldnt wanna stay in a country where i’m being interrogated like a illegal immigrant. Instantly in my mind, all I can think of is, this country sucks and i’m not gonna come back unless I have to (I think my next job have to , fuck).
This whole incident totally ruined my mood for the next 3 days in Australia, I could barely forked up a smile. I didn’t even feel like taking pictures, everything felt disturbed, I didnt even smile when I first greet him, more on that for the next post.
This piece is my personal opinion, my personal experience, if you love australia then too bad I offended you, but this is MY first experience and impression of Australia.
Well, I’m just gonna chuck in some photo to see the good side of it.