I am so depressed right now it's not funny.
I got rejected in my application for a Schengen visa to go travelling in Europe. This is the third time I have been rejected.
I know what you are thinking, my god you must be an unorganised miscreant to get rejected 3 times. How hard can it be? You are probably right, but each time, the madness and bizzareness of the situation blew my brains with the irrationality of it all.
First you must know that to get a Schengen in the UK you must phone the appropriate country's hotline to get an appointment, usually months later. This hotline charges you one pound per minute. You pay minimum £12 for each call. They purposely drag the call out as long as possible by saying things along the line of:
just to recap, if you are phoning for a visa, you have got the right number. If you are not phoning for a visa, you have got the wrong number. If you are sure you are phoning for a visa, press one. Don't forget, this is the number for the German consulate visa appointments.
etc. until you are screaming.
Next, I am one of those rare South Africans who does not live in London, and so has to travel long distances at obscure times to get there for the 9 am appointment. It costs me about 60 squids to take the train at that time. So this time I was feeling poor and took the bus. Which means starting the day at 3am.
Next, at the German embassy, after waiting hours, I get my interview.
Visa fraulein: I see you were rejected twice by the French consulate. Why?
Me: The first time my appointment letter was a month and a half old instead of 1 month old. I was dismissed. I pointed out that it did not say on the list of visa requirements that the letter was to be a month old, it just said that it was to be recent. I was told that it says it in the FAQ section of the website. [What the fuck? So I meticulously check the visa requirements, have no question regarding them, move on and this? What if you don't read the FAQ section because you don't have a freaking question?! Put that info where it should be! I smell a rat, cos you have to pay for your French visa before you get the interview, it honestly seems like they need to deny x amount of people]. So I had to cancel all tickets, blah blah, which they make you book in advance. Lots of money lost.
The second time the lady said that I needed to prove my relationship with my partner. NOTHING was mentioned of this in my first interview. I am on my partner's work permit in the UK. I proved my relationship to the UK authorities in a process which required much time, much money, and a huge file full of documents. My visa was approved. Are you telling me that I have to go through this process again with you, when the only reason I can stay in this country in the first place is cos I have proved it? You are telling me you don't trust the UK authorities? Denied. [When I got my Greek Schengen, I told them all this and they looked at me as if I was insane. "no we do not require proof of that, it is irrelevant." I love you, Greeks. The Portuguese were also perfectly straight forward and sane].
Me: So anyhoo, that's it.
Frau: you are not married to your partner?
Me: no we are unmarried partners, common law whatevers.
Frau: we do not accept that.
Me: what why how? Sorry but before I ask why, could you please explain to me how my marriage to my South African partner is in any way relevant to me taking a vacation? He is not European, I am not trying to get a visa on the back of him being European. Can only married people come to your country? You should probably add that to your visa requirement list.
Ok, so why do you not accept us being common law thingies, it is legal and the fucking British authorities have acknowledged it twice [I am starting to love the Brits for their pragmatic sensible attitude to all this].
Frau: what sex is your partner?
Me: Male. [What the fuck? Sorry but is this "not acceptable" business because you think I am gay?! Is it even legal to ask this kind of thing? Are homosexuals not allowed to come to your country too?]
Frau: Give me your employment details.
Me: I am not currently employed. [I assume that under no circumstances can an unemployed person travel to your country. Please add that to your list on the website too so I don't need to waste my time. I left my last job and could not apply for another because we were applying for our UK visas. During that time I had an operation, couldn't move, that kind of thing. I had always planned to go travelling after recovering, and not to apply for a job til I got back cos I don't want to start a new job to say, "um, can I go for a months' backpacking now?" Not a good start. This was my plan. I see this kind of thing is unnacceptable to Europeans].
Frau: Show me your bank statements. [I hand them over]. These are not your bank statements, these are your partner's.
Me: I assure you they are mine. Look, there is my name. [the woman did not believe they were mine cos I had so much money. I mean for fuck's sake. I saved every penny I could like a fucking hamster while I was WORKING over the last two years. I am not some kind of stay at home kept woman. I saved specifically for travelling throughout Europe when I left my job].
Frau: lots more complaints, about the fact that I wanted a multi entry visa, but I had proof of all my trips. Surely that is what is required for a multi entry? Yes, normally but not in your case.
Basically the woman hated me and told me to leave. I actually cried. I have spent in the region of a grand on booking these trips which I have actually been looking forward to so much; the whole purpose of this year was to see Europe as I have never seen it before. Money dissipating into the ether. I have to cancel it all and wave goodbye to my hard earned dough. I have fucking German ancestry, and now I am never gonna see that aspect of my history.
I don't get it. I just want to spend my money in your countries, then come home. I don't drink much, don't smoke or do drugs. I was rejected when I was earning whackloads of money and when I was unemployed. Please tell me, how am I such a failure?
I feel so inferior, like I just do not meet the basic requirement for humanity that is allowed to travel. Am I so malfuntional that I am not acceptable to these countries?
Now if I want any holiday at all, I am gonna have to go to Clacton-on-Sea or bloody Blackpool or something.
That is it for me. Those French rejection stamps will haunt me each time I try. I give up on Europe. I have to, I can't go through this insane money wastage and mind-fucking again. Backpacking in Europe has been assassinated. You have to list all advance-planned accommodation for every night of your stay, no free random roaming about. Gone are the days of young people travelling without bloody SatNavs tracing their every move.
Right now, Schengen visa people, I hate you so very, very much.
[Apologies for the length of this post; it is for personal therapy purposes].