Friday, March 19, 2010

As if in a dream

After class, I went to the visa department at the university to see if they cared that I was leaving the country.

I approached the same old dormitory reception area which I now knew led to the administrative offices. I took out my student ID and prepared to pass through the turnstile.

The man on duty shook his head and pointed to a sign: UMC (or some other combination of letters) dept, 2nd floor of dormitory. Like that was supposed to help me!

Um, and the second floor is...where? He gestured.

I walked to the end of the reception area and went through a different turnstile. Spotting an elevator, I entered and pushed “2.” I wondered how I was going to end up in an office and not someone’s living area .read more/-

I came out of the elevator. No one was in sight. I chose a direction and saw a sign which read “____ department, temporary passageway. “ Okay. I headed down a deserted, windowless corridor with a row of closed doors, and it hit me…how was I going to find my way back out? What if there were an emergency and I were trapped?

Another sign with an arrow. Okay, keep walking down the corridor. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to shrink or grow in order to make it to my destination.

The signs stopped. Now what? A door seemed to be unlocked, did I dare open it?

Woosh. The door opened in my face and I gasped. It was a fellow I had seen over at the Russian department. We both laughed and continued in our respective directions.

Okay, he must have come from where I was going. Now I was in a stairwell. I went down some stairs, but had I reached the first floor or in-between floors? I went down some more and approached a landing that looked familiar.

Yes, I had arrived, just from a different direction.

The woman in the visa department had me fill out a form stating the dates of my departure and arrival. I will have to register as soon as I return.

Then I headed back to the labyrinth. I could not find the door, the one through which that guy had materialized. There were several landings and corridors, but they were all sealed by a piece of white tape. Not a soul was around.

It had to be on the second level. I tried one more door and looked closely at the piece of tape. It had been severed…

Yes, it opened. I retraced my steps, following the arrows backward to the elevator, then down through the main entrance. Whew.

2 comments:

  1. I think these are my favorite posts! These adventures you have! Just love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Elizabeth. I just found your site and it is wonderful. I often feel like the only westerner in my city in Russia, trying to fit into a very strange culture.

    Best wishes with your studies and work.
    SC

    ReplyDelete

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