2005-02-23

Berlin Notes: a matter of trust or stupidity

I went to the Russian embassy to apply for a visa. It was a cold Berlin morning, but against my usually practical appearance I desided not to wear every onion layer. This was a mistake. If you want to get a Russian visa, you are not entering the embassy building from the front entrance and just proceed to the visa department. No, you go to the back entrance and there you are waiting outside of the building in a bulk of people. From time to time the back door will open and a man comes out to read out the names of some people who are allowed to enter the buidling. Then you try to give him your passport(which he will only accept aafter a while), he will then take it inside for a moment (for no particular reason) to come out again a little later, maybe to read your name, maybe not. Ok. But you should not have a backpack with you, which, of course, I did not know. He called my name, but told me that I could not bring the backpack inside. SHIT! There was no locker around and I would have to go fo the next station, some ten minutes away. An older man came out of the blue to me and offered to take care of my backpack, I could leave it with him. He even showed me his id-card. I took a deep breath, took out my visa papers, left my backpack with him and entered the building. Inside I went to the visa department, got a number, queued up in a line and waited for my turn. I had time to contemplate about my decision to leave my backpack with my laptop inside in the hands of a complete stranger. And I had to wait. A Frenchman needed a visa within 2 tays and had to pay 145 euros...somebody lacked the right travel insurance... when it was my turn, my papers were all right, I was told to pay 45 euros and to come back on the 4th of march to get my visa. Uff. Now I hurried downstairs. The old man was waiting for me with the words’here is your backpack; these things are a matter of trust’. Ok I thought, but lets not test the trust too often.
Posted by steffi at 6:35 PM
Categories: places