Saturday, December 14, 2019

Leaving Belarus

I haven't posted to my blog in a very long time. Mostly, the blog had been about my life in Belarus, or at least my life as a traveler. There are other parts of my life that I haven't felt free yet to write about yet, so I've been silent. It's all good, and I may well have something to say about it later. But for now, I have another Belarus story.

I started this post sitting at Beltelekom waiting my turn. I can't discontinue my internet service online or on the phone. I am required show up with my passport to do this in person. I want to discontinue my internet service because a chain of events in the USA has changed my life enough that I've re-thought my lifestyle and am concentrating on life in Texas.

I spent a long time watching agents serve the people ahead of me. Based on her number in line, one lady’s visit took an especially long time, as she signed up for service. When I arrived, the agent was opening a box with a new router to confirm that the serial number matched what it said on the box. There was other discussion. Then she put the router into a plastic bag, along with the mostly-empty box it came from. Finally, after confirming the client's true identity, she printed out multiple copies of several documents, stamped each copy with her official stamp and signed them all. The client signed them all too. I am flabbergasted by the amount of paper they handled.

Not quite done, the agent replaced the staples in her empty stapler and stapled sheaves of documents together. More discussion ensued. Finally, the client left, hopefully ready to set up her internet when she got home.

This is typical.

I waited some more, and finally got called. I told the unsmiling agent what I wanted and the fellow took my documents, studied them, and confirmed that I live in Minsk. Yes I do. Well, he said, this is the wrong office. This is for the Minsk region. Fine, I answered, Minsk is in this region. It was fruitless. He only serves the outskirts, not the city itself.

I begged his indulgence. Nothing doing. I asked again about quitting online or by telephone. Nope. Nopity-nope-nope. I must go downtown and wait in another line. At the rate we are going, the downtown office if going to make me wait two hours. As I write this, I am one hour in.

I'm feeling quite ready, by now, to embrace my new life in Texas with almost zero regrets.

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