Monday, October 1, 2007

Here we go again.. [1]

I finally gathered all necessary documents required for our children's double-nationality application. The other day I picked up our Kartu Keluarga (family card - the last long-awaited document) myself, instead of relying on the neighbourhood chief (Ketua RT), who will only ask (an embarrassingly huge amount of) money for his 'service'. But that's another story.

Mondays are actually my teaching days, but I have asked permission from my fellow lecturer to skip the morning class on Oct 1st, 2007. I arrived at Kanwil HukHAM (The Law and Human Rights Regional Office) somewhere before 09.00 and was asked to wait, because the main person who should handle nationality application wasn't there yet. I sat on a bench, checking my documents. I had exactly everything that was listed on the application folder - except, none was yet 'legalized' (fussy legalization of documents seems to exist only in Indonesia). I glued a seal (meterai) on each application letter and signed on them. Ready.

Approaching 10.00, there was no sign of anyone attending the application counter. A sign at the counter window faced the waiting bench:

OPEN 09.00 – 15.00
LUNCH BREAK 12.00 – 13.00

Yea right. What if the sign is turned around so it’s glaring at the employees? Perhaps it’s more useful that way. Several minutes later, a personnel from behind the counter asked me what I was there for, then waved, letting me into his office. He’s the next person in charge when the main person is not available.

He checked my documents and said everything was fine. Except.. none of them were legalized. These documents came from various (government) offices and it was virtually impossible for me to go back to each of them to get their stamps and signatures from their authorities, without spending an enormous amount of energy and time. So I agreed to his offer to just have them legalized at the Kanwil office, which was possible since I’ve brought along all originals. This means I needed to provide double copies of every document. He showed me where the nearest copy shop was located: outside the Kanwil building, to the right after a security post.

I went out to make copies: twice of the kids’ documents and four times of Syb’s and mine. The copy shop was a small one; consisting one functional copy machine and two broken ones, a public telephone and a fax/print service. The queue was not too long, but the waiting was agonizing because both the operator and the only machine that worked
were really slow.

I returned to Kanwil office only to find out that I should actually also make copies of the Kartu Keluarga (which, by the way, mentioned that our children already have Indonesian nationality!). Anyway, I went out again to make copies. The waiting. The agony. The heat. The irritation.
Afterwards, returning to the Kanwil office, I was told that there were two more documents
to be copied, too! What choice did I have but enter that damp, narrow copy shop again to carry out my task.

Right. I finally got everything I needed. The staff examined my documents and made notes. He made small talks during the process, including: a complain that he was being ‘overworked’ because the first person was unavailable since Friday, a joke that that person was preparing hard for his pilgrimage to Mecca and a conversation around my undergoing to gather all these documents.
B (his name): You came here before, didn’t you. What took you quite a while was the process at the State Court, wasn’t it?
T: Yes.
B (tilting his face a bit forward, lowering his voice): How much did you spend?
T (not budging from my posture, nor lowering my voice): Just the court fee, according to what’s stated at the invoice, 265 thousand Rupiah.
B (back to his position): How long did it take you?
T: Three months until the judge hit the hammer, plus two months until I acquire my documents.
B (gesturing at a colleague next to him, with a trivial expression): Hey, she went to the court herself! It took her more than three months!
C (the colleague, coming over): You did, huh? How come it took so long? The judge?
T: The judge, who was out of town or ill. The panitera, who suddenly was out on a long leave before his retirement. It was an excruciating process.
C went about his own business again. Back to B.
B (taking a glimpse at one of my documents): So you have a doctoral degree, eh?
T: Yes.
B: In what field? Is it in administration?
T (what the..?! Do I look like a pencil pusher?!): No, it’s industrial design, architecture and civil engineering. (I mentioned all three faculties I worked at during my doctoral research)
B: Oh. And you’re teaching where? UNPAD? Parahyangan?
B: Oh. (Then, after a while) We also had an application from an ITB lecturer whose wife would like to apply for an Indonesian nationality. But she’s from Latin America, who doesn’t have any representative in Indonesia. … (went on talking until all my documents were ready)

Continued to Part 2

The upper name card was from the first person in charge, who was unavailable on the day I came. The lower one was from the second person in charge, who took care of my documents and whom I had conversations with.


  1. Aduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh..... pusiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.... Banyakan ngomong yah Ta?
    Courage yah!

  2. heheh.. either dia itu emang tipe yg suka basa basi, or mau ngasih kesan bahwa dia itu sebenernya direpoti oleh aplikasiku (sebab orang pertamanya gak ada).. supaya dikasih 'tips' :P thanks ya pet :)

  3. Mateeeek, kartu nama =)) =))
    *baca dulu*

  4. BTW gua curious..... kok bisa dapet kartu nama ya? I don't think that mereka taro name cardnya di meja, heheheh.....

    And di kartu nama ada alamat rumah?

  5. Sekarang gak usah tanggung2 Ven, buka2an dari awal aja :))

  6. dikasiiih.. ;;)

    soal alamat rumah, gue ada dua interpretasi juga nih. either emang umumnya seperti itu, nggabisa misahin data kerjaan ama pribadi, or sengaja biar kalo ada urusan extra service dan salam tempel bisa langsung ke rumah aja biar gak ketauan ama kantor :D
    (ini pengalaman dari ngurus macem2 sejak bulan2 lalu itu, yg mau minta 'gosokan' biasanya eager ngasih nomer HP atau nomer telpon rumah)

  7. OOT: Mbak Tita, ternyata ngak beda juga dgn petugas2 pajak di Jakarta, Mereka "royal" banget kasih kartu nama + alamat rumah. Kalo mau "dibersihkan" harus dicabut sampai akar2nya. Tp apa bisa "bersih" dr korupsi ???

  8. hihi ternyata mirip ya.
    untuk bisa "bersih" sama sekali sepertinya masih jauuuh banget. sebab client (kita2) yg perlu layanan cepat juga banyak sih, jadi nggak akan ada standar baku (prosedur dan pembayaran) selama ada pembedaan pelayanan dengan sistem 'gosokan' ini.

  9. Good point, hehehehe.....

    Gua sih masih agak positip kemaren mikirnya, ini rumah dinas :p