Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I forgot to post again today! ha! I was very preoccupied with the paperwork for our Russian visas and, of course, completing the laundry during our allotted time.

The form I was working on, a supplement for American citizens (which they are clear to indicate was implemented in reaction to a form the US recently put in place), has required all of my powers of memory and quite a lot of patience. Place of Birth: I [tab] [space] L [tab] [space] L [tab] [space] I [tab] [space] N [tab] [space] O [tab] [space] I [tab] [space] S. Itinerary: S [tab] [space] T [tab] [space] P [tab] [space] E [tab] [space] T [tab] [space] E [tab] [space] R [tab] [space] S [tab] [space] B [tab] [space] U [tab] [space] R [tab] [space] G [tab] [space] & [tab] [space] M [tab] [space] O [tab] [space] S [tab] [space] C [tab] [space] O [tab] [space] W. I guess you get the point by now: it's tedious. And they want to know everything about me! I bet you could get into outer space with less paperwork. Mother's name. Father's name. Criminal record. Countries visited in the last 10 years. Marital history. Educational history. Work history, including "Chief's surname," address, phone number. Military history. Charitable contributions. Mental disorders.

Imitation, as people, especially parents, like to say, is the sincerest form of flattery. But geez, Russia, weren't the stonewashed jeans enough? Did you really have to take it to this level? Whatever happened to our d├ętente? rapprochement? all those French words we learned when the cold war ended (or in my case a few years ago in a DC museum)? Sometimes you have to take the high road, no matter the fashion consequences. We cannot count on the U [tab] [space] S [tab] [space] A.


jenicrob said...

You're going to Russia? Oh, I am so jealous! Last year I read both Animal Farm and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and it got me dwelling on the country's strange history--the juxtaposition of high social ideals and brutal oppression--and I decided I really should visit because they just seem so interesting as a people.

Swiss Ms. said...

I'm reading a cultural history of Russia right now and I am totally with you. Fascinating!