Since March the fifth, 2003, I have been in Indonesia. The last time I had Dutch soil under my feet was according to my passport a thousand and forty days ago.
Did I somewhere cross a line without noticing it? In the past few years I collected dozens of pages filled with stamps, signatures and corrections thereupon from various state officials.
Did I somehow become an émigré without ever making that decision? Expatriated?
I start to feel at home here though. Indonesia is nesting underneath my skin – the dust, the dirt, the heat, the jams, the noise – the thrills for me, the urban junkie. It has been and surely still is a valuable lesson in slow living.
My present visa is valid until October 4, 2008. My passport, though, expires January 10, 2008. So I need a new travel document – even though I do not move beyond any country borders.
So I went to the Dutch consulate in Jakarta to apply for a new passport. But my application was rejected. The pass photos I presented together with the application were considered to be of the wrong size. Apparently, the face on these photos was too small with one (sic!) millimeter.
I guess I have gotten used to Indonesian pragmatism…My initial response: where can I apply for Indonesian citizenship?