1/40-1 These Things I Look Forward To

7 Nov

By far my favourite part of traveling international is I get to interact with new and diverse, vibrant cultural bureaucracies. On any one of my garden-variety travel adventures I might have at *most* one or two opportunities to interact with the local/state/federal government officials of my host nation, but this time I anticipate there will be *dozens* of exchanges. I know this because in preparation for this trip, I’ve had to fill out *many* different application forms for *many* different countries. In one case I even had to write a letter to the Director General Of Immigration for the entire Republic.

One of the reasons I’m like this is because I used to be a government bureaucrat myself, and I’d like to think I share a measure of mutual camaraderie with my brothers and sisters in the civil service of the nations I visit – the shared experiences we have dealing with systems that feel like they were designed around a set of processes and not a concrete goal.

I think my biggest concern from my time in government stemmed from instances where no one was able to explain why something was a certain way (the private sector has this too). It’s like the hypothetical son who cooked the hypothetical Christmas ham by cutting it in half before putting it in the oven (just like his hypothetical mother did) and he never found out she did this because the uncooked ham was too big for her hypothetical baking pan.

Me, well I don’t really like ham. And the stove at the new house is TINY. And that’s a good thing. It uses less energy and it takes up less space in our tiny kitchen.

But that’s unimportant.

What is important is that several of the countries on our itinerary asked for information pertaining to “religion” on the application forms we had to fill out. Sarah and I didn’t really co-ordinate our responses so we might have different answers for some of them. I’m not sure if this will make a difference, but it is something that might come up as we pass though customs and/or immigration.

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More clues?! 

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