IT WOULD be unjust of me to not acknowledge how helpful the Travel Documents Section or the Passport Division, Brunei-Muara Branch, has been to me.
My passport expired on December 1, 2014. I could have renewed it earlier but I didn’t.
I had to go on a trip to Sabah on December 22 (Monday). But I renewed it on December 19 (Friday).
Keep in mind, December 21 was a Sunday and it takes at least three working days to get a new passport.
I went to the Immigration building at around 6.20am on December 19. By that time, there were already nine Bruneians before me.
By 7.15am, more people began assembling at the main entrance. We sat near the drain.
An Indonesian woman brought her son, randomly asking for help from some men to guide her son for she had to go to work soon.
There were two queues – one for locals and the other, foreigners.
When the doors swung open, the security guards did a good job managing the crowd, making sure that no one cut the line.
I got my precious golden ticket – Queue number 10.
When my number was called, I thought I had sorted out all my paperwork. However, I had forgotten to fill up a form.
An officer politely told me that I could fill up the form and come back to the counter later and that I need not take a new number.
However, it felt as though nothing was going my way. Apparently, I had only $40 in my wallet. (A new passport costs $60.)
At 8.50am, I rushed to Supasave Mabohai to get money from an ATM. I returned to the Immigration building within 20 minutes.
I waited in line for a few minutes (without a number). By 9.20am, the officer said that everything was in order and that would take at least three working days to process my new passport. He said an SMS would be sent to me when it’s finished.
By 4.13pm the same day, I received an SMS notifying me that my passport would be ready for collection the next day (Saturday) – just in the nick of time before my trip to Sabah on Monday.
To the officer who handled my application that Friday, I would like to say thank you for your patience.
I would also like to thank the entire Travel Documents Section team for a job well done.
I know how busy it must be for them, especially in December.
– Satisfied Plebeian