Kiasu me conducted a mini research about renewing passports. Hence I knew about the long lines and having to wear dark colours (black is safest) to satisfy passport photo requirements. So I set my alarm early with the intention to arrive and be one of the first few in line. Unfortunately, dear hubby took his own sweet time in the toilet and the drive to PKNS Shah Alam, lamenting something about needing his "slow Saturday drive" and how "no one in their right minds would sacrifice their Saturday to renew their passports". Uhuh, we'll see about that!
Arrived at PKNS Shah Alam 15 minutes past opening time (8am). Got parking almost immediately and the lobby was deserted. Hubby had the cheek to give me the "I told you so" look. All that changed as soon as we took the lift up to the immigration office. The line had snaked all the way past the main corridor! Hhhmmmppphhh!!! We stood in line and I gave hubby a dirty look. He tried to lighten the mood with some corny jokes (kudos darling) which sort of worked but all that went down the drain when barely 6 people away from the counter, the immigration officer announced that "number dah habis"! His advise - head to UTC as they close at 1030pm.
We headed back home, picked up the kids and headed to UTC Puduraya. Aiden once had a phase when he would hum the UTC song subconsciously. Hence he was so happy we were finally heading there. Albeit annoying, due credit must be given to the creator of the song, as the jingle is really quite addictive.
We arrived close to 10am only to find out that it was closed until 2pm for Hari Sukan Malaysia. Oh my, pray tell - what does the immigration office, JPN, JPJ and everyone else have to do with sports? Sorry KJ, but in my humble opinion, you cannot disrupt government matters just to satisfy your event. They just have to do their required sit ups and push ups some other time. *sigh* So we headed out and came back at 2pm, only to find this:
|The line started from one end of the building to the other then back again! It was crazy! Despite the horrible currency exchange, everyone seems to be heading out of Malaysia!|
So I stood in line while Hubby looked for parking. According to him, there were only two floors of parking and there wasn't enough for everyone. It took him half an hour to finally get one. As for me, it took me an HOUR just to get a number. *oh my sore feet*
The immigration officer was very polite though, I have to give him that much. When asked, he estimated about a 40min wait and told me to get some lunch. So we took the lift to the 4th floor food court.
I salute the idea of having clear elevators - but if it is poorly maintained (one of them had no air conditioning) and not cleaned (check out the cloudy view - nope that's not haze)... Maybe it is better to stick to conventional elevators:
|See how cloudy it looked on what was a very sunny bright day.|
As soon as the elevator doors opened on the 4th floor, a burst of smell greeted us. You know, the kind of smell that you get from poorly ventilated food courts? *sigh* Not only that, it was hot and stuffy hence naturally everyone decided to sit close to the three stand fans that were operational. I wasn't going to take my chances with nasi berlauk so we chose to have something freshly cooked instead.
|The food court.|
Don't get me wrong, I am not a food court snob. I've had my fair share of food courts and growing up I even ate at Puduraya while waiting for my bus back to matriculation college. Hubby even took me out on our first date to mapley Jalan 222 - according to him it was a test kononnya!! I guess I passed with flying colours, eh Hubby? But with kids in tow, I just couldn't take the risk. We also ordered bottled mineral water, but when Hubby went to take a straw, he came back, gave me a look of horror and told me "straw dia melekit". Oookkaaayyy!
Anyway, 40 minutes went by pretty quickly and we returned downstairs. Right on time, we were a few numbers away. Took the opportunity to touch up my makeup (Hey, I have to live with the picture for 5 years, okeh!) in the make up cum nursing room. (Yes, they had a make up/nursing room and even a reading corner for the kids.) Soon our number was called.
|That futuristic looking thing on the right? That's the immigration camera. Don't forget to smile!|
The whole process took less than 10 minutes. After that we went to another counter to pay. After payment, we waited another 20minutes for the passport to be ready. If you can't wait, you can always opt to pick up the next day by showing your IC or payment receipt.
By the way, it was close to 5pm when we got everything done. By that time, there was not even a line in front of the number counter, but they still had ample numbers to go around. My advise, if you choose to go to UTC, don't go at opening time. You should elect to come at weird hours. You will still get your passport on the same day, and at least you don't have to queue an hour for a number!
|See! No queue!|
|Couldn't resist a picture. Can't believe this still exists!|