(It’s a pun, get it? Well, maybe after you actually read the post…)
One of the nice things about living overseas is that it’s easier to give yourself permission to feel really special and accomplished for completing basic tasks like almost signing up for a cell phone plan or buying a DVD player. Today I gave myself a huge pat on the back for successfully submitting my paperwork for a tourist visa at the Russian consulate in Sofia.
Like the Tanzanian visa/vaccination situation, this was one of those pleasant times when an interaction actually turned out to be easier than what you were anticipating. Living in a place where you don’t really speak the native language, you just get accustomed to expecting things to go wrong and mass confusion to reign supreme. And for me this is stressful because I don’t like being wrong and I don’t like being embarrassed (I think I’ve gotten a lot better at it while living here, but it’s still not something I’m very comfortable with). Plus, regarding the visa there was once again conflicting information on what I might need to bring (the lists of documents was anywhere from 4 to 10 items long), and I know from experience that anytime you get into paperwork with Bulgarians you know it’s going to be nonsensical and arbitrary, so I wasn’t expecting Russians to be much different. Continue reading