Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Business as usual

Today I went to the Ukrainian consulate in The Hague. I went to register my daughter as a citizen of Ukraine. I also wanted her registered in my passport so that we can travel together without anyone suspecting I kidnapped her.

With the current situation in Ukraine I was prepared to see people being reserved, polite and quiet. I expected the atmosphere to be a bit chilly. Which would be fine given such state of affairs. I was wrong. It was all business as usual at the consulate. People spoke different languages, chatted and made jokes.

A woman came in. She spoke Russian with a slight accent that I’d associate with Tatars or Chechens, but her family name was Russian. Well, you never know.
“I applied for the Ukrainian passport a month ago, is it ready yet?” – She asked in Russian.
“What’s your name?” – The consul asked in Ukrainian. “We don’t have it here yet.”
“I am from Crimea, what passport do I need now Russian or Ukrainian?” – She asked all of a sudden.
The consul switched to Russian: “We only have Ukrainian passports under our jurisdiction. Your passport is ready, but did not reach us yet. Maybe it will come with the next post batch.”
“But the post doesn’t work now!” – The woman exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, we are talking about diplomatic post. That works. We will give you a call as soon as we receive your passport.” – He sounded very friendly and patient, something we are not used to from our officials.
“Thank you.”

The woman went away leaving me with a new casus on migration and citizenship law. Love those!

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