Friday, October 1

The Russian Consulate

So I went down to the Russian Consulate today because I'm going for a visit in October with one of my new friends. Foolish to return so soon perhaps, but I miss my friends.

Anyway, I wasn't scheduled to teach classes until 12:30 and, according to their website, they start accepting applications at 9 am. So, even though the consulate is in the Hague and far enough from Hague Central Station to make the trip over an hour each way, I thought I'd make it back in time.

But in true Russian fashion, I show up and there are loads of people waiting and all the blinds are closed on all the windows. At 9:50, they open 1 (one!) window and every queues. I finally get to the front and they have the info from Moscow, but the forms they had online for me to fill out were not correct for this type of visa. So I have to go fill them out, front and back answering questions like where I went to uni, parents' full names and whether I have weapons training (seriously). I get back in line, finally make it to the front again (by this point it's 11 and I know I'm not going to get back to work in time and have already started sending frantic texts.) THANKFULLY she accepts both forms for me and Ian. Since he didn't sign the second, she kept his first as proof for the signature. Then I have to go to window 3 to pay. Of course, window 3 is just where you get the receipt, you actually pay in window 4 and for Brits it's 35 euros, for my USA passport it was 95! Bloody hell. And then I'm told I can come back anytime after Oct 8 to pick it up between 12 - 1; right, because that's convienent.

So I leave and finally make it back to Hague central station, take a train to Schipol (Amsterdam's airport) and from there a 40 euro taxi to work to make it 20 minutes late to my class. I should have just come on my old visa! But it seems as though all is going well and next Friday, Ian and I will get our passports back.

TGIF! (which we have every Friday in our staff bar)

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