26 March 2007

Found: Myself

Many of you have been following with trepidation the ongoing saga of my visa & passport woes (see Torture by Visa and Visa: It's Everywhere You Want to Be for the full story). When we last covered this subject, my passport, visa, registration, and entry card - my entire identity, as it were - had gone missing somewhere in the winding caverns of a the vast Russian university. Without these documents I am nobody. Almost as frightening, without these documents I would be unable to leave Russia on an important trip planned for early April.

The administrator's quip that "in Russia we never lose things, we just take a long time looking for them" turned out to be true. Eventually the documents were found and an extended visa was issued with the help of a letter "from above" to get things moving.

And so, for those who were cheering for a happy ending to this story, I can finally give you one: I have my beloved passport, my cherished identity, in my hands at this very moment (OK, not literally in my hands because I'm typing. But I've been staring at them the whole time, just to make sure they sprout little passport legs and go wandering off somewhere). While I won't be convinced that my trip will happen until the plane touches down in the U.S., this is a big step and quite a relief.

This whole saga reminds me of a poem I know in Russian. In fact, this is the only poem I know in Russian, and I don't even know the whole thing. It's shameful for a Russian lang. & lit. major, but I somehow deal with it. Nevertheless, it is quite convenient that the opening lines fit just this situation. It's by Soviet poet Konstantin Simonov, and this poem was written during WWII)

Жди меня, и я вернусь
Только, очень жди

Wait for me, and I'll return
Only, truly wait.

Believe me, I've been "truly waiting" for me to return, and now that I'm back and have found myself it's quite a wonderful feeling. Needless to say, I hope I never have to lose myself again...

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