12 February, 2010

this one's all about the glorious trifecta of P: paperwork, poles and p'curry

yesterday i took an early morning ferry to the city of van, where i had Important Things To Accomplish. firstly, after ferrying, busing and sky-training it to my destination, i picked up an official translation of our marriage certificate wherein my maiden name is misspelled (never noticed, in all these years). secondly, i stopped for a quick lunch at a corner tandoori place that looks like crap but produces tasty and cheap indian edibles, and finally hoofed it to the polish consulate. only to be stopped at the door by their hours.

the polish consulate hours, my little poultries, make bankers' hours look like slave labour. some days they sweat chained to their desks from 10-1. on alternate days, they slave away from 1-5. it breaks my heart, truly, to see compatriots of mine in such horrific working conditions. where's the UN when you need them? or whoever deals with such blatant disregard for human rights.

so i managed to get in by the skin of my teeth (actually by the generosity of a tall handsome polish man who let me in with his very own key when he heard my sob story of coming all this way from nanaimo) only to be told by the chilly* bureaucratic babe that they have little interest in the thing i had translated. that my actual and real marriage certificate can be had only from the bureau of vital statistics and that this thing i had brought her was worth no more than a blue ribbon in marriage from the 4H club. oh. ok, then.

i spent the rest of my time in vancouver listlessly shopping for clothes and shoes, thankfully buying nothing,** feeling cold, damp and depressed, fomenting vague feelings of hopelessness, frustration and disappointment. but that's glorious stuff for another uplifting post. if i can be bothered.

the trip was salvaged from total loss by my meeting two women, both of whom gave me career and/or life advice and their business cards. one of them, on the way into vancouver, suggested wine tourism as a possible career choice for a mouthy lush (that's not how she put it, but we all know the truth), the other talked with me about editing, books and movies and life and made the trip back fly by.

and so it goes. this weekend we shall go off to the lofty climes of victoria, where we will be given a bed and a breakfast, and go out for high tea with the queen. then we will return to nanaimo and i shall be faced with reality. good lord, wish me luck, wouldya?

*of course she was chilly: i had made her stay 5 minutes over the doubtlessly exhausting regulation 4 hours of hard, sweaty desk duty.

**shopping is a residual fun activity from my old days of consumerist pigdom, made that much better if i actually buy nothing at all because as you all know i want nothing and get mad if i get given stuff. i try on clothes and breathe a sigh of relief if they look like crap. and yes, i know, why do it at all, but it was a cold, grey, damp, unpleasant day, and i needed a distraction from the utter loss of not only this day, but of the last few years of my life. so there.


Anonymous said...

you were touched by the clammy hand of formerly communist bureaucracy.

i think you met some wise women, or at least some wisdom from those women. listen up!

Anna Maria said...

ROTFL:-) I am already dreading my visit to the Polish Consulate here in London, though I have not even set the date yet...
Nothing like the proverbial pani Zosia or pani Halinka to stir the embers of patriotism, huh?
Great blog!

the polish chick said...

hi, anna maria, welcome, welcome. you don't know the half of it. there was another visit on monday and even worse. so true about the proverbial pani and her sense of bureaucratic superiority. grrrr!