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Travel Mishap Took Me to Budapest

Not all of our travels were smooth as expected. Dutchie and I did experience travel mishaps from time to time. One of them took us to Budapest (Hungary) while our initial destination was Antalya (Turkey). It was unexpected with a bitter sweet travel experience being an Indonesian national.

Dutch and IndonesianWe planned to have eight days of beach holiday in Antalya. Everything went well at the beginning of our travel, from the check-in to finally boarding from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. It was a direct chartered flight from Arke, a well known Dutch travel agent, and we were scheduled to arrive in the afternoon. After we flew for a while, the pilot made an announcement he had to do an emergency landing in Budapest due to engines issues and we had to stay in Budapest. You can imagine how the passengers reacted after the announcement.

The first thing came to my mind was: I did not have visa to enter Hungary! At that time Hungary was not a Schengen* country thus as an Indonesian passport holder despite of my residency in the Netherlands, I still had to apply Hungarian visa prior arrival. I was freaking out while Dutchie was joking the Budapest’s immigration must had a sleeping bag for me to sleep over at the airport. Oh dear, the idea to sleep at the airport was interesting for a blog post now but that’s not a reality I wished to experience at that time. As we landed, my fear came true, the passengers who were almost all Dutch nationals allowed to pass the immigration except me. Dutchie was kindly accompanying me, but of course he had no choice unless if he wanted to see a grumpy face for the rest of the holiday later on. I told him I would request two sleeping bags in return to his loyal companionship.

Not allowed to pass the immigration

Listening to our Pilot’s briefing at the other side

The airline attendants helped us in arranging an emergency visa for me. It took hours to process it as the Hungarian authority had to check my profile for security reasons. It was dark when I was finally allowed to leave the airport. As we arrived at our hotel, we were immediately served with delicious meals that I could not remember all of their names. Goulash was certainly one of the meals. Our flight was scheduled to leave on the following day after lunch time thus we had half day to scroll around Budapest. The city was beautiful with unique architectures, but no Hungarians in Budapest were smiling, not even the staff at the hotel and restaurants. It was awkward. Imagine if you were smiling at someone who did not return your smile.

If you asked me at that time about my feeling over the travel mishap experience, I would said I was annoyed and there was slightly bitter feeling as an Indonesian national, as it seemed, I could not fully be trusted equally to the Dutch nationals. But at the same time I was glad I did not have to sleep at the Budapest’s airport. Indonesian passport ranked 60th according to Matador Network, it was not a powerful passport and I had to compromise it. Having an Indonesian passport made me experiencing additional travel challenges that remind me the importance to stay humble wherever I go. I had another story about visa related experience when preparing my future visit to the United States and it was related to human kindness and trusts. Please stay tune on my future post 🙂



*Schengen is an area within European Union (EU) where some European countries agreed that their citizens and Schengen visa holders are free to travel in and out of this zone as one single country sharing equal international travel rights. However, not all EU countries joins the Schengen area. United Kingdom (UK), for instance is a European Union state member but it is not joining the Schengen agreement. My resident permit visa from the Dutch authority allows me to travel within Schengen areas without necessary applying for additional visa, however it would not be the case as if I wished to visit UK. List of of Schengen countries are available in this link: Schengen Visa Countries List. Hungary joined the Schengen area in December 2007, my travel mishap occurred in June 2006.

Submitted to Monday Escapes #19


    • Thank you so much! I was glad on that safety part too. Perhaps because of my previous travel experience that cause me to worry more on visa than safety! I have been in an airplane from Jakarta to Singapore with crazy turbulence and the oxygen masks were even out, at that time I thought we would crashed! Meanwhile the plane trip to Turkey was relatively smooth compared to that flight experience. The Dutch pilot was calm as well when announcing the engines issue and that was comforting 🙂

  1. Hungarians are a bit like people from the Alps, slightly tough to crack. But, unlike people from the Alps (I’m one of them!), once you’ve ‘cracked’ them, they’re fantastic. The best bit is trying to speak some Hungarian: it doesn’t work always – ticket inspectors will always be annoyed, and that shop attendant will always be a pain in the arse – but it works wonders. At least outside Budapest’s touristy zones.

  2. aww, I’m sorry this happened to you… 😦 it’s frustrating when you have plans and they fail for reasons beyond your control… I’ve never been to Budapest… such a sad observation that hungarians do not smile…

  3. Well… you know what… your posts are much better than mine… I mean you have a great sense of writing posts and conveying your ideas to others… I’ve never seen such a writer who conveys the ideas to people so easily and quickly… You simply rock in writing posts…!!! You can be a very great and successful writer if you showcase your lovely talent more and more by publishing your thoughts and promoting it in large scales… I have a gut feeling that you’ll beat each and every writer and be the #1 writer in the world…!!! My day doesn’t start and end without reading your posts… it’s becoming my habbit now… Anyways… at last I would say that you rock miss beautiful and please continue posting your awesome posts… It’s become My “NEED” now….!!!! 

  4. That is such a shame, I can imagine the stress of going through all those immigration issues, immigration is always a pain to get through. At times like these, I can be grateful that my passport opens more doors for me than other countries, I remember my Indonesian friends always complaining about this issue to me sometimes too. I even know of someone who gave up their nationality for a full citizenship here cos of the convenience of the passport. At least, now, you have no worries about visiting Hungary, if only it had happened sooner so that it would be easier for you!

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