Went to outside tent and was referred to counter 14. Went to counter 14.
Attendant : ‘What are your names?’,
Me : ‘Idd Salim’
Attendant : ‘Enda Counter 13’,
Went to counter 13 with a smile. ‘YES!! Gonna get it leo!’, I thought. Met this annoyed lady in specs.
Me: ‘Habari ya asubuhi Madam’
Attendant : ‘Leta receipt na ID!’,
Me: ‘Ok.. Shika hizi hapa’
Attendant: ‘Ati Idd, Salim? Come after 3 weeks!’
Me: ‘But I was told passports are ready in 2 weeks max. And I applied 4 weeks ago!’
So I go back to the tent outside. Greeted the same tent lady with my usually charming smile and radiant eyes.
Me : ‘Madam, Nina complaint. I was told it will be ready in 2 weeks, na 4 weeks have passed. Sasa naambiwa nirudi after 3 weeks.’
Attendant: ‘Kama una haraka, enda ukacomplain kwa mdosi.’
Me: ‘Mdosi? Mdosi mgani?’ – I actually thought she was talking about Kibaki.
Attendant: ‘Enda room 16.’
At room 16, I met a very warm and friendly mdosi. (Funny how in Kenya, it is ONLY the small insignificant people who give you hell in all aspects of life. The wadosis are ALWAYS cool and OK.). he listened to me with empathy and checked my receipt and ID and took out a note-pad.
Mdosi : ‘Enda First floor and look for Ndambuki. Atakusaidia. Usiwe na shaka’
Went to first floor (OK, second floor then u take the back corridor fire-escape stairs to floor 1). Meet nice and smiling people willing to help all over. ‘Kwa Ndambuki ni pale’, One directed.
Kwa Ndambuki. Knock! Knock!, I greet a madam I found there. ‘I have been sent to meet Bwana Ndambuki’.
Lady :’This is his office, lakini ametoka. But I can help you. Leta receipt na ID’. She types in a URL of the Immigration System running as a JSP Web Service. ‘Url Not found!’
Lady : ‘Hii computer yangu ina shida, so let me call someone to help. Calls some extension and gets the Bad News.’:I Overhear : ‘Ati Muslim Name.? Ni suspect? Lazima Interview? OK’. She says : “Wewe enda room 8, Tafuta Bwana Lang’at”‘
Room 8. Closed. Waited outside for 20 Mins. The comes a gentleman called Lang’at.
Me : ‘Nimetumwa kwa Bwana Lang’at’
Lang’at : “Ni mimi. Karibu Kiti.” – Very warmly and in a read-to-serve mode.
Me : ‘Sasa niliapply for passport 4 weeks ago, na bado’
Lang’at : “Ehh! That is so LONG bana. Lemmi check. Hii tutamaliza leo. Usijali. We are here to serve you’. – Ohh!! what a good change in the government lingo.
Lang’at : “Ahh! Kuna shida hapa. Idd Salim. Hmmmn…”. – He refers me to the next desk.
Lang’at : “Saidia huyu Kijana. Ni Muslim, but from Meru. Mpe recommendation apate Passport. Go to his desk”
Guy 2 : ‘Ati Idd Salim. You will Never ever get a Kenyan Passport with those names’. He shows me some examples of Kenyan Names.
Josephat Njorge Mwaura, Owino Ochieng Omondi, Kimani, Wachira, Lagat, Chepdinya, Omolo.
Guy 2 : ‘Did you see any Abdi or Jamal or Salim there?’
Me : ‘So tufanyeje mzee. Mimi nataka tu passport’
Guy 2 interviews me about my parents. I am from a single-parent family and my only parent (my mum), died in 1998, December 28th.
Guy 2 : “Because of this Salim Idd names. You will never get a passport unless you bring your mum’s death certificate and birth certificate” – tears fill my eyes. Damn! I thought I was strong, but the mention of my late mum exposed the pain of losing a loved one.
Guy 2 : “Ungekuwa unaitwa Kimani ama Omondi ama other Kenyan names, Saa hii ningekupa passport.”
Guy 2 : “Last option, look for her National ID”…. What?????
Back @ Office
So I am googling for that ID. And unless I get it. No Passport.
Najivunia Kuwa Menya