Another Visa Run

I’m sat once again in the free wif-fi section of Incheon aiport having done another visa run to Malaysia.  This time I went via Bangkok and enjoyed an uneventful weekend in the heart of the nightclub district.

Uneventful because instead of rounding up a troupe of ladyboys and a sack of cocaine as planned I found a banjo for sale in a music shop and spent both nights in my room trying to play it: just as well most people in Bangkok hotels on a weekend don’t plan on sleeping. 

As usual, the Russian embassy in KL was as unpredictable as ever, charging me less than I thought they would and turning my visa around in a day rather than the 3 days it is supposed to take.  I’m wondering if Russian embassies are a franchise where the Kremlin sets the products and does the marketing and the local consul sets the prices within certain boundaries, a bit like MacDonalds.  That would explain why I got a free toy and a coupon for next time.

On the way back through my wife gave me the usual instructions, based on some dubious story or other about how she’d only just lost something whilst I’d been away, to buy cosmetics in the duty free.  My experience of buying cosmetics prior to about a year ago consisted in its entirety of buying underarm deodorant and shaving foam.  Even my after shave gets given to me as presents, no doubt by people who would prefer I’d bought soap while I was at it.  Now I am fast realising that buying cosmetics is like procuring machinery parts: all grades, numbers, and suffixes.  An example:

Guerlain PARURE – Compact Foundation, with Crystal Pearls, SPF20, PA++, nb. 12

Tell me that wasn’t dreamed up by a SAP technician!  The only differences being machinery parts are considerably cheaper than cosmetics, at least by weight, and the costs can be passed onto the end user.

UPDATE

Oh dear.  I was so busy blogging I missed my flight.  Dammit.  I’ll have to take tomorrow’s.

This entry was posted in Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Another Visa Run

  1. Tatyana says:

    Love your update.
    Practice, banjo included, make one…one annoying neighbor…

  2. avershin says:

    It sounds weird but your guess about franchise is nearly spot on to the extent of consular fees. As a former Russian consular officer, I may say that traditionally the consular fees charged on the applicant consist of two parts: the so called konsulsky sbor (consular fees themselves) and faktichesky sbor (which may be translated as disbursement). The former is established by Moscow, while the latter is calculated by each embassy on the basis of proposed local costs of operation of the consular office: stationary, expendables, etc. Both values are then summed up and the result is charged on the applicant.
    It is obviously an irrelevant method, since the calculation of the disbursements incurred by the consular office for providing services to the public is very unreliable. Besides, all the proceeds from the activities of the consular office, whether received to cover disbursements or not, are sent back to Moscow, which then makes available the funds it deems necessary to the Embassy. This method to establish consular fees sounds obsolete, probably has been in place since before Genesis, when the embassies were probably allowed to apply the proceeds from the faktichesky sbor to cover their expenses without sending it back to Moscow. No one seems to want to change it.

    So the fees you are supposed to pay are indeed set locally to some extent.

  3. Tim Newman says:

    Thanks Avershin! Interesting comment.

  4. Lyndon says:

    Off-topic, but you might find this article interesting.

  5. BearBait says:

    I am appalled at the unscrupulous and slanderous references made to SAP Technicians in the above article.
    Unless you retract your statement it will be arranged that all your purchase orders are mislaid and your salary is routed to the bank account of “Save the SAP Techs” (previously known as The Mortgage).
    It would be preferred if from now on your slanderous comments are reserved for the authors of HR Procedures.

  6. Tim Newman says:

    Enough with the negative commentary BearBait, or yer’ll be banned. :P I do like the idea of HR-bashing, though.

  7. Mike says:

    Crickey mate, nobody misses a flight, do they, lol. Sounds as though you’ll be matching eye make-up with jewellery soon, well on path. I would not dare shop for womens perfume without a list of favourites, and then it is still confusing. The WIFI is incredible in Incheon, I sent Victor the infamous dance of the Vodka saturated Aussie from my farewell, amazed at how fast internet can work, then I returned to the Land of Oz, where 226k is the normal transfer, 556k at best.

  8. Pingback: White Sun of the Desert » More Russian Fuckwittery

Comments are closed.