Monthly Archives: June 2014

Illegal Immigrants and Proud? WTF?

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This is not a sick joke. This is sick, but not a joke.

Illegal Immigrants and Proud is one of the infamous documentary series on Channel 5 in the UK. The film maker basically following these illegal immigrants around, showing how they live their life here, and how they got in. In one and only episode I watched, they were talking about how some people in this country actually helped these people to settle in. What a silly story.

No. I do have pity. But none to spare to these illegal immigrants.

You might not know why should I bother, and why should I be grumpy about them being able to get in and being treated nicely. This is why.

Remember all those hassle I have gone through just to be accepted as a residence to this country? It used to be so much friendlier before all these illegal immigrants are trying to invade this country and breaking all the rules.

Some blamed the politician for being a bunch of fascists, and racists, and so on. They forgot that the government of this country is only protecting their citizen. I couldn’t blame them for being very careful with their decision in home office, knowing that there are so many fraud out there, they should always be ready to purge. No wonder big countries are being paranoid with immigrants.

Long story short, these people make the legit legal and prospective immigrants, who want to start or continue living in this country, went through a series of difficulties. 2012 they stopped the PSW, because there are many students never came back after being here too long, and overstay they permit. They added more and more shitty requirements such as, you are no longer allowed to marry in this country with general visitor visa, knowing that there are so many people does this contract marriage thingy.

I really have not only strong feelings, but also opinions about illegal immigrants. I had to go back and forth 4 times to be where I am now. It’s very costly, and time consuming, and honestly very difficult to play by the rule. But it hasn’t to be that way. It hasn’t always be that way.

So what happen when I heard some people that I actually know, and considered as friends told me that they are happily breach this immigration rule? Not in the UK, but in the country they settled in. Obviously, i couldn’t say anything, being polite and shit. But I was very disappointed that they did not realise what they did, and how it would affect the other Indonesians citizen who are going abroad to get a better life.

 

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Film Review: The Namesake

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Title: The Namesake
Year: 2006
Director: Mira Nair
Actors: Kal Penn, Irffan Khan, Brooke Smith
Language: English

Review:

This film is adapted from a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri by the same title. It was a story about a boy named Gogol, an American born Indian who wants to fit in American life while his parents are still stuck in the old Indian tradition where they were born and raised in.

For me, this story hits really close to home. I am not an Indian, but living in between two cultures makes me feel what the characters in this film feels and portrays. It was indeed a really good story, and was acted really well. It’s too bad that this film is not a big hit since it does convey a lot of messages to everyone. A very important message.

Of course this is a drama, not the action movie with big blast and explosions everywhere, so t might not attract many audiences. Although we can see some famous faces in this film such as Irffan Khan from Life of Pi, Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar or the TV series House M,D and How I Met Your Mother, and Brooke Smith from Grey’s Anatomy.

I love this film. Set in two different countries, USA and India, it portrayed the life of both very different culture.

I have to admit I haven’t read the book yet. I wish I had before I watch this film, but I honestly did not know that this was taken from a novel. That was my ignorance, and I would probably have to make up for that one.

I would recommend this film for anyone. This is quite vanilla, so it is very suitable as a family drama, although little children who doesn’t understand the depth might find it a little bit boring.

Children in Public Places

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There are more and more restaurants banning children from their premises, especially during peak hours. I am not surprised when I heard about this, knowing that there are less and less people could tolerate nuisance when all they want is just to have a nice weekend outings after a hard long week of work. Not everybody agrees with me, and I will agree to disagree with their opinion.

I also think that little children should be banned from public spaces, at least until they are fully trained on how to behave nicely. There is nothing worse than sitting in a table, eating your medium rare steak and one drolly little bastard standing next to you staring until you sternly stare back at them… and then they would cry. And make… instead of a silent nuisance, a loud noisy one.

Some restaurants has used banning and fining parents and children who disturbs other customers, which is also a good alternative solution if you don’t want to completely ban them from your business premise. I think it is an okay compromise, considering this is a less preventive solutions, but friendlier to parents.

I wonder if the same regulation is applied in Indonesia. I know that many of kids lover, parents wannabe would be furious. Indonesia, as many other Asian countries, is a very family oriented country. In our culture we bring our family on outings, and we would not leave anyone behind. Which is good.

However, we forgot that in our culture we also think that misbehaving children is a shame to the family. In the old days, we wouldn’t just sit and eat while the children is running around disturbing other people. We wouldn’t just keep silent when the children shouting and crying. We would be shamed as parents for not being able to teach the children how to sit nicely.

Nowadays young parents would say: “Oh they’re only four year old, you don’t need to be so strict to them at so young age…”

I might seem or sound mean. But I am not the only one.

There are more and more people who support this child banning rule. We are in the kind of society where people are working hard each day, and wish for a nice outings without being disturbed. If we want to be in a noisy or distressing environment, we could just stay where we are working. Restaurants and cafe is our escape from this noisy and distressing environment, and I think it is not too much for us to ask.

As the closure of today’s rant, I would tell you my experience on our way back from London to Norwich.

We were in a bus, tired and no longer excited, All we wanted was to sleep for the rest 3 ++ hours journey. No we cannot. A family with two toddlers are sitting just behind us, and for the rest of the journey these little bastards just kept shouting to their parents, and everyone was just either too polite to shout back at this family to keep their kids shut up, or too afraid to be sent to jail for throwing away this shitty nuisance out of the windows.

Or they’re just too scared of being called racist as these people are of different ethnicity.

But darn that’s a very traumatic experience. And parents like that should be banned for life, or fined millions and millions quids for being so bloody ignorant of how annoying their kids were.

We ended up moving to other seating after a stop and some seats were emptied after some of the passengers has gone. Even from 6 rows away I could still hear them shouting and bouncing. Seriously… Ban kids from public premises.

Applying for FLR (M)… What the hell is that?

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The fiancee visa will expired in 6 month. So, if you are coming to this country with this visa, you would have to get your leave to remain permit soon before your staying permit is over. After you are married, FLR (M) is the form you would want to get. If you want to do it in person like me, you will have to download the most recent form from the Home Office website. However, because this service is very expensive, use this service only when your application is straightforward.

What is straightforward application? Well… In my experience, if you have nothing else as consideration why you might not be able to get your application approved, means your case is not quite straight forward. In my case, because I have ticked all the boxes and get all the requirements, and came in the country with fiancee visa, mine is considered as a straightforward case.

The application centre I went to is the Croydon Home office. It is located in Lunar house in Wellesley Road, it is close to a tram station, two train stations, and a bunch of hotels. So, you would have plenty of options to get to this place on time. And I strongly suggest you come on time.

The documents that you need:

1. Your correct form, fully filled with black pen. It is clearly said that you need to fill in with black pen, so trying to fill it in with red ink is not quite wise.

2. The print out of your proof of appointment booking AND the payment proof. I almost forgot to print out the booking proof and crossed the manager at Travelodge for asking him to print that out for us.

3. Passports, and other photo IDs. Two of your photographs, and one of your sponsor’s photograph, all in the correct UK passport size.

4. The supporting documents: bank statement, payment slip, tax summary etc., same with the financial requirements you need for your fiancee visa. You would have to attach your language requirement proof, police registration, and your marriage certificate. It would be better if you could produce the official letter from the working place, or the council office too.

Make sure that you have got them all in original, and ready. You would not have time or opportunity to talk to the case worker, and defend yourself for the lack of the documents or needed evidence. So their decision would be solely based on the documents you provide to them.

Get to the application centre 15-20 minutes earlier then your appointment. You would have to go through all series of security check like the one we’re having at the airport, so it would take awhile. I would suggest you to bring as little as possible except for the documents. I carried my luggage and it was a little bit of a hassle.

First of all, you would see the receptionist that would check that you are bringing the correct form, and make sure you are who you say you are on your photo ID. After you got your self checked in, you would be sent to the waiting room. You will be given a number that would identify your case for the whole process. The waiting room is quite big with a cafeteria in the middle where you could order food or drink.

You would be called, by the officer that would check and enter your data to the case worker to work on. The officer would put together your documents and form, to be sent to the case worker with the biometric data that you would provide soon after. I regret that I did not put on a full make up, but I am glad I was not looking too bad either. You would get your photo taken, this photo would be on your Biometric Residence Permit. You would get your fingerprints taken as well.

After the biometric data taking, you would be sent back to the waiting room, this time for a little bit longer. The length of the process would depend on the straight forwardness of your case. The case worker would go through all the documents that you provided, and do the cross checking again. In the waiting room you would be able to track your case because they would have your case number displayed there.

It is said that normally it would take 2-3 hours in total. But I only need one and a half hour before we are called to get our documents and result back. AND, I got my application approved.

Honestly, it was a little bit anticlimax when the officer announced my approval. He just gave me the bundle of documents, and said that congrats your application has been approved. And we just sat there without knowing what to say, and feeling a little bit in a limbo even after we walked out the building.

But yeah…

It’s done now, and we are very happy. So, if you are doing or planning on doing the same thing, I wish you luck, and I hope this would help 🙂

Film Review: Mysterious Skin

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Title: Mysterious Skin
Year: 2004
Director: Gregg Araki
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Trachtenberg, Brady Corbet

Review:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you said, squealing while fantasising the younger version of this handsome boyish looking man. I think I better put the disclaimer in the beginning of my review, because if you are expecting a romantic comedy or any kind of vanilla drama, this is not the kind of Joseph Gordon-Levitt you would like to see. This would shatter all your fantasy of the perfect Joseph Gordon-Levitt you might have had in your mind.

Mysterious skin is a film made from a novel of the same title by Scott Heim in 1996. It is a dark drama about the life of two adolescent boys: Brian and Neil. Brian grew up as a very quiet boy who believes that he was one of the alien abduction victim when he was young, and Neil who grew up being a gay prostitute. Their life entangled in the past in the little town where the setting of the story was taken.

It would take a lot to make me feel that a film is disturbing, and I was a little bit disturbed in a way that I don’t know. I would have to put a very big disclaimer in the beginning, that this is not for everybody. As much as I think that this film is really good, some people would find this film as too much too handle.

This is definitely not a family drama. It has a lot of explicit sexual content, strong word and violence. Not for kids, not for the faint hearted too.

I would still rate this 10/10 and recommend this for my friends. 🙂

Aaaah….

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Oh dear…

Finally I can breathe more easily right now, as my residence permit is now approved and I can live as a UK residence for 30 months. At least for the next two years, I wouldn’t have to worry about this.

Okay..

I came for my wedding on Fiancee visa. This kind of visa would only allow you the entrance and permit to get your marriage registered in this country. The UK law is no longer allow a non UK/EU residence to register their marriage in this country, so if you come here with general visitor visa, they wouldn’t accept your document and legalise your wedding here.

Getting this fiancee visa is not easy. I had to wait for at least 3 months before the visa was approved. If you are about to do the same thing, this is the kind of thing you would need to acquire to get it approved:

1. Financial Requirements
You AND/OR your partner would have to provide the evidence that once you are married you would have to be able to support yourself and your household. The UK government has set up a minimum requirement that you could find in their website. The kind of evidences that they would accept: bank statement that shows your savings, payment slip that shows your salaries, and these evidence has to be gathered 6 month prior to your application.

2. Evidence of your relationship
They want to make sure that your relationship is a legit and authentic. Being in a long distance relationship you must have a kind of correspondence that you can show them. Get them gathered as much as you can: phone statement, emails, chatting history, etc. I know that sometimes you do the sexting or talking dirty on skype. Just censor it with black marker if you wish, but I am pretty sure the case worker has seen almost everything. Include photos of you together, and you together with families to show that you have met each other in real life.

3. Other important documents
Passports (and other photo IDs you could find to prove who you really are), the prove that you both are eligible for a marriage, documents that show where you lived and where you are going to live (usually your sponsor’s house), the language requirement that is needed because surely you would have to speak English if you are about to get married in this country, don’t you?

My other suggestion is to make everything real and honest. You don’t need to fake anything that you don’t have. They would cross check and if you are found out forging an official document, not only you would get a criminal records which would make it even harder to get in to any other countries in the future, you would also denied the entrance at once.

After you get married, go to the Home Office website once more and download or fill in the latest form to get the residence permit. Mine is FLR(M), which is for a spouse of a UK residence. There are two options: first, you send it via post. When you send it via post, they would take time to process your application, and they would send you another form for Biometric Residence Permit. You would have to take the Biometric photo in the appointed places and post offices. Then some more times to get the biometric data processed and checked before you got your result. This could take weeks to months.

The second option is to get things done in person. This is called a premium service, and of course it cost you premium too. You would have to book an appointment date after you pay your application fee, and bring all the needed document to where the appointed Home Office office (sorry, I really don’t know what to call that), and wait for averagely 2-3 hours and get the result done in the same day.

I took the second one. Of course. I couldn’t take the prolonged misery, and wait for one more day for my result. It’s too overwhelming.

I got my application approved, and just yesterday I got my permit sent home, and now I could live in this country. Now I could get a job, and study, and start a business if I want to. What a life….