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September 12, 2006

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S

Just how are you so damn prolific?

Spirit of Vatican II

I posted this corrected version while waiting for a Tourist Visa from the Russian Consulate in Paris. Having presented proof of travel; confirmation of prebooked hotel: an elaborate formal application with colored photo, I was then told that my Japanese health insurance card was not adequate and that I needed a signed and stamped document confirming that I was covered for Russia. The Visa Help Services of the Consulate told me that I could apply for insurance to two companies, both of whom said they could not insure me since my principal residence is not France; Whatever happened to simple travel insurance? I then inquired in Cooks and was told that this is a typical nightmare; that the Russian Consulate makes people walk on their head; that their attitude is a matter of public notoriety among travel agents; that my only choice is to cancel the trip. Eventually a travel agent in the Visa Help Services recommended another travel agent across town from whom I bought a week's insurance for 29 Euro. On the last day before scheduled departure I received a call telling me to come within an hour with proof of residence. I brought a letter from my real estate agent confirming that my tenant had vacated my apartment. This proved to be insufficient and I was told to bring either electricity bills or my title deed, postponing my trip for a few days. I gave up in despair.

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