The Planning for the trip
The Netherlands is my first country in Europe to visit. Planning for the trip was easy and getting a visa was smooth and straightforward too. Just prepare all the documents required by the embassy and wait for 2 weeks then you will get it and assure of a smooth Netherlands entry.
Imagine those canals, the windmills, cheese and a lot more reasons to visit this lovely country. You can travel The Netherlands by budget, mid range or luxury. Solo traveling is okay but I will advise you to travel with your friends. Be sure to plan your Netherlands vacation accordingly for you not to miss the beauty of this country.
New year holiday
I scheduled my Netherlands trip 29th of December so that I can go to Cologne Germany and spend the New Year Holidays there. I flew a 12 hour flight from the Philippines to Kuwait transiting in Dubai. It was a really long flight. But it is okay because I got to spend 1 month with my family during my annual vacation.
Physically exhausted, I landed in Kuwait International Airport. Greeted by the cold breeze because it is winter time. I decided to pass by the ATM to take some cash but due to my long travel time I was already out of my mind. I took the cash and the receipt and immediately hopped on a taxi.
By the time I reached home I just realized that I did not take my debit card. I immediately called my bank to request a new one since I am flying after 7 hours. Sleepless and tired, I unpacked my luggage from the Philippines and prepared a smaller one for my Euro trip. Slept for 2 hours and prepared again to go to the airport.
I lined up for an hour and a half at the airport branch of my bank to get a new debit card but unfortunately they can’t issue it. That is why I have no choice but to use the only cash I have and credit card to continue with my travel.
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Twenty four hours of flying
It was 2 am in the morning. I checked in online and boarded a flight to Rotterdam transiting Istanbul for 5 hours. Total travel time was another 12 hours. Imagine my situation. Restless from the Philippines to Kuwait. Kuwait to Istanbul and Istanbul to Rotterdam. I was feeling drugged. No sleep and the time differences. My brain is not functioning at all.
The bird’s view of Rotterdam will amaze you. Greens and lots of Greens. Truly, The Netherlands was a beautiful country. As soon as we touched down at the airport I got my bag and headed on to the immigration. Rotterdam airport was a pretty small airport. At that time there were 4 immigration officers available. Three windows were dedicated to EU nationals and one for foreign passport holders.
I was confidently waiting for my turn since there was a really long queue. Finally I was next. I headed to the window and presented my passport. And as the immigration officer was doing his job, I was so nervous. He scanned my passport and checked my visa. He then asked me lengthy questions.
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I was almost denied of entry
Guys take it seriously. These personnel were trained to check possible illegal immigrants. He asked me how long I will stay in the country. What is my next destination? What was my itinerary and how will I finance my travel. I then answered him in a polite way that I will be staying for a few days then head on to Germany for the new year. I told him that I got cash, credit card and booked hotels for my trip.
He then asked me what my work was and what I would do in the country. I confidently answered that I am based in Kuwait and working for a hotel. I told him my plans in the country. However I did not satisfy him. So he asked me to elaborate my trip and show him my hotel bookings again and flight bookings for the rest of my Europe trip.
This time I was so nervous again I showed him my hotel bookings but he insisted that it should be prepaid. Then he said “I am thinking of denying you Netherlands entry”. This time I felt he was joking but then when he kept asking questions I knew that he was getting serious. He even said to enumerate 5 things I will do in Netherlands like I am in an exam. Because of my nervousness I got mental block and failed to give answer. But then finally he stamped my passport an entry stamp. I felt relieved.
So I gave him a courteous smile and said thank you. He then answered back and said it is not funny that is because I gave him a smile. He continued that because of the New Year holiday that is why he is allowing me entry but if not he will send me back.
Frozen to death
I head on to the cash exchange and meet a nice lady and ask her how I can make my way to Amsterdam. She then gave me a simple instruction. As soon as I got out of the airport , I was relaxed. My nerves were calm but I am totally frozen to death. I put on my scarf and gloves to warm myself. Patiently waited for the bus to the train station. I looked up at the blue sky and thanked God for safe Netherlands entry.
Do you have your own immigration horror stories? Let me know down.