I’ve been kind of coasting on that big beefy posting below, partly because I’ve been working more or less non-stop on those dreadful history essays, and partly because it’s so big and beefy that I reckoned I could get a few days’ milage out of it. I pretty much got my gripes re. the Czech Foreign Police out of my system, but I can’t let this go by without a comment.
The Canadian government, well at least the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry, is way out of order in this visa issue. The “visa stalemate is not a political issue but a technical one,” the Canucks tell the Czechs. I would expect a bullshit excuse like that from the Czech Foreign Ministry, not the other way around.
Of course I’m being self-centred in my outrage, but it seems that whenever it comes time for me to get my visa renewed, external forces conspire to make the process a complete mess. Ok, now I’m being melodramatic , but in such matters all these government officials ever see are statistics, articles, maybe some news footage or videos of the visa-processing hovels they force foreigners to stew in, perhaps they actually visit them for a little bit of easy PR, I dunno. When it comes to getting travel documents themselves, they undoubtedly have some intern/university co-op student/peon deal with all the legwork and waiting around. I’d like to see Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay last a day trying to deal with the shit that us foreigners have to take at the Czech Foreign Police offices on Olsanska, only to be told that, well, as a Canadian you need a visitor’s visa to come into the country in the first place, you’re here illegally, so it’s off to the holding cell with you. Then maybe he’ll re-consider my home and native land’s jackass visa policy vis-a-vis the Czechs.
Question: since when has immigration been a crime? The robots on Olsanska sure as hell make it seem that way, and from the sounds of it it’s probably worse in Canada. I’d really like to hear more about the Czech experience of getting a Canadian visa. I remember Jitka had a hell of a time getting a Canadian visitor’s visa in 1999 – she had to deal with a rude clerk who made her feel like she was being interrogated. One thing she said about the experience pretty much summed it all up: “The only thing missing was a big bright light for the clerk to shine in my face.”
Ah, well, in two months all this nonsense will be behind me… I hope.