The absurdly convoluted visa policies of India, and the absurdly privatized process of obtaining it, have made me cancel a trip that was supposed to be a routine work day in Kalkata. It’s amazing that in the XXI century bureaucracy affects so many countries so much, and toy with people’s lives via ridiculous laws.

The official information handled by my travel agency, one of the largest in the world, says that if I spend less than 24 hours in India I do not need visa. But the Indian government says I do. However, an officer of the consulate said that, even if they allowed me in the country, they probably would not have let me out of the airport, but he did not know for sure. Furthermore, although a transit visa and emergency visa exist, the first one takes 5 days to obtain since the documents reach the consulate, but there are exceptional circumstances (as in my case: Spaniard requesting a visa from the United States), in which case it may take (much) longer. And while traveling in fewer days than necessary for the visa processing, the emergency visa did not apply because it only applies to Indian citizens who live within a certain distance from the embassy and have had a death in the family. Motherf$%”# … So much for “quick business trips”.

But every cloud has a silver lining, so on the way to Singapore I will spend four days enjoying my favorite city in the world: Tokyo.

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