Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Around 9 AM today, Mishah left for a three-day corporate get-together in Rome. He was flying via Helsinki, because he had a Finnish Schengen visa. He did not have an Italian visa, because the Italian embassy in Moscow wouldn't give it to him because he's a Ukrainian citizen, and he had no time to go back to Kyiv and apply for a visa there.

Around 3 PM, he called me and said that the Finns weren't letting him proceed on his way to Rome, so he'd be flying back to Moscow later tonight.

Needless to say, both he and I are pretty upset. Actually, I'm pretty furious.

Mishah has never been to Rome and was looking forward to it. I had asked him to bring me a Riccardo Fogli CD, and perhaps something from the Vatican. Not that I really need any of it, but it would've been nice. Marta had requested a dog, but it's okay, we'll buy her yet another one here.

His flight back to Moscow is at 8 PM. He's at the Helsinki airport now, drinking beer and buying books in English for me.

I asked him why he decided not to spend the night in Helsinki - and he said that the Finns weren't allowing him to enter their country, either.

There are too many points to bitch about here, and I could go on bitching for the next few hours, until Mishah's back home. But it's all too obvious, so I'm not gonna bother.


  1. bummer! nyet propyska nikuda. If you're Ukrainian. Doesn't Ukraine have an embassy there in Moscow to take care of its nationals?


  2. Julinka, if you lived in, say, Ottawa, would you go to a U.S. embassy there for your Russian visa? :)

  3. I'm so sorry that Mishah didn't get to go to Rome. It's funny, Moscow really is a bolshaya derevnya. I don't know either of you personally, but I know the komandirovka he was going on, and I'm sure we've got obshchye znakomye. I feel like I must run into one or the other of you at some point. I'd like that quite a lot.

    By the way, I've been swamped with work and out of town, so I just caught up on two weeks of posts. I want to add my plea to the others'--don't stop the blog! I love your observations on language and post-Soviet politics and odd moments on the tram. I'm really glad I randomly found Megan Case's blog, and from hers, yours.

    Udachi vo vsem.

  4. Thank you so much, Joy! We should definitely get together. How about when the weather stops being so hysterical? :)

  5. I read your line about the weather, and looked out the window to a blazing blue sky and sun reflecting off MID! Definitely hysterical, but in the manic upswing sense.

    Anyway, yes, we should get together. Perhaps the weather and life in general will be calmer after the holiday weekend.

    Again, I am so sorry about Mishah's visa disaster. You put it perfectly: visa regimes screw law-abiding travelers but do nothing to prevent labor-related migration.

  6. I'm really upset for both of you, that's such a shame. Lena and I have some of the same issues - because Lena went back to Moscow to work temporarily (in Amnesty Int'l - a bunch of shits, but that's a whole other story), our Home Office regard her residence here as having started from the second time she got the spouse visa. This has all sorts of implications for how she gets permanent residence. You know, the law-abiding people are the ones who catch it in the neck, and the regulations do nothing to stop the illegals.

    Plus over here, she'll have to pass a "Citizenship Test", full of questions that a born-and-bred ENGLISH person couldn't answer. Idiotic hoops to jump through, thought up by moral pygmies hiding from the realities of people's lives.