Monday, September 10, 2012

Bureaucracy Season

It’s that time of year! Actually, I will have to start thinking about my documents in October, but September is the time for David’s documents.

He is currently registered in St. Petersburg as an American tourist. Yep, it’s true. We get until the end of the month to figure out something more permanent (preferably dual citizenship) and then I will have to exit with him into another country and get a new visa for him.

My heart hurts for families who have to be separated for short or long periods of time because of citizenship issues. What if I chose Russian citizenship in order to be in Russia with my husband without threat of deportation? Then I’d need a visa to go back and visit my parents!

I have to admit that I have a little bit of a double standard in my head. I don't like having to wait in line and go through the same processes as all those other foreigners (who came here for silly reasons like making money to support their families). And my marriage is a real marriage, so shouldn't I get special rights here? Somebody? Maybe I have an American (missionary?) superiority complex.

The latest information is that David's application will have to be reviewed for 6 months, so we will indeed need to travel to another country at least once during that process in order to get him a new visa to be in Russia.

Of course we (the baby and I) could just take an extended vacation, but...I'm up for inspection in another month, so I need to be in Russia.

This is going to be interesting...


  1. I can understand why you would feel you ought to get a some special considerations! Oh, well. Not likely I guess. Russia is Russia.

    My son Ilya has a Russian therapist now, and fortunately I have a sense of humor. The first visit, after three years, we went to her former office. I called her, and it turns out that her new office is in the same complex. So, as we were talking she was looking out of the window; she said she saw my car and began to give me directions. In order to leave the parking lot I was in, to negotiate turning around and going back to her, I went in a direction she didn't like - she's SCREAMING over the phone "You are going in the wrong direction! You are doing exactly what I told you NOT TO DO!" I realized that - hm - people in the United States don't generally talk to one another in that tone. I was suddenly transported back to Russia. I also found myself wondering how she can possibly keep her patients!

  2. Was she older than you? I find myself getting a lot of advice from Russians who are older than me/higher up/have more experience in some area. Hmmm, I guess that's everyone. ;) The point is that it's unsolicited in a way that isn't commonplace among Americans, except for maybe mothers-in-law. Even doctors usually say "What I would suggest you do is..." instead of using a direct imperative, AKA being what we would call "bossy." As you said, something in the tone. When it happens I sometimes try to picture the person as trying to "mother" me, which is often exactly what is happening, they are trying to help you out. Very passionately.


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