Friday, July 17, 2009

Come on and feel the Kyrgyzstan

I've long suspected that a visit to Kyrgyzstan would be absurd to the highest degree. So far, my suspicions are holding out. I went to the Kyrgyz embassy in Seoul today (it's the same building as the Danish embassy, halfway up Namsan, if you're so inclined). Right off the bat, you notice that:

1) The embassy is putatively located on the forth floor of the building, except that it's also on the ground floor. The third floor is in the basement, it seems.

2) My 50-square-metre apartment has more furniture than the massive, four-room embassy. One of the rooms there consists of nothing but a massive rug on the floor.

In keeping with the Sisyphean nature of life in Kyrgyzstan and related countries, the three people there had no discernible function or purpose other than reading what looked to be electronic manuals.

The application fee needs to be paid in US dollars. When I asked where I could get US dollars, the man made a face and indicated that, perhaps, I might be able to pay in Korean won. The woman who took the money, in a dark room, took about 20 minutes to accept the money, and disappeared for minutes at a time inside the room.

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