Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In which B. breaks my door, and Kyrgyzstan nullifies my vote.

October 27, 2008

Since technically my contract runs through October 31st, I purchased my ticket home for November 2nd. B was promised my apartment upon my departure, as the school needed to turn his apartment into classrooms. Unfortunately, when I bought my ticket I hadn’t realized that the last day of “October” classes was actually October 24th and that “November” classes began on October 27th. This meant that they needed B to move out on October 25th… and of course they were confused as to why I’d bought my ticket for such a late date. Yay, Kyrgyz logic. Luckily, B and I are good friends, so we don’t mind sharing an apartment for one week. Of course, I had five cats and he had one, so there are now two people and six cats in my apartment. Madness!

Monday I decided that while everyone else was at work (haha! unemployment is great!) I’d take the four cats that I’m taking home to the vet so they could be examined in order for the vet to complete the paperwork needed for customs. I can only carry two cats at a time, and I had just lugged Luball and Heelio into the vet’s office when I received a panicked phone call from B: Minsk had escaped and while he was in the process of re-capturing her, somehow the door to our apartment had broken and he was unable to get back inside. He’d shoved Minsk into K’s apartment (K, btw, is a dog person) and they were both teaching while various people tried to break down the door to our apartment. He wanted me to come home ASAP so that I could prevent the other cats from escaping once the door was opened – and so that I could get Minsk out of K’s apartment.

I figured that as I was already at the vet, I might as well do what I’d gone there to do. I explained what I needed, and nearly laughed when I learned that I hadn’t had to bring the cats with me; she was perfectly willing to complete the paperwork stating that all four were healthy without examining any of them! Meanwhile, on Thursday I have to take that paperwork to two different government offices to have various officials stamp them, thus further “proving” that my cats are healthy. Yay, more Kyrgyz logic.

I practically ran back to the school (doing so while lugging fat-ass Heelio was a feat in and of itself), only to discover that the school had called a locksmith who wouldn’t be there for an hour or so. I snagged K’s keys and spent a good three hours with three cats hanging out in her apartment. I was just about to fall asleep when I was roused by the sound of a drill. I went downstairs to discover a woman jackhammering the concrete doorjamb with a power drill. She did eventually get in and switch the locks, but by then I’d completely wasted most of my day.

Tuesday I decided to go to the central post office to ship home the wooden saddle that I’d bought for my mom ages and ages ago. I also figured that would be as good a time as any to mail my absentee ballot. I dragged the saddle all the way downtown and had the woman in the post office give me a quote as to how much it would cost to ship – nearly $100. I’d paid $14 for the thing. Grrr. I went across the street to change money and came back to discover the postal woman debating with some man whether or not I should be allowed to ship this antique saddle out of the country. On the one hand, it might very well be an antique. On the other hand, I paid $14 for it, so it couldn’t be *that* valuable, now could it? I told them that and they decided that I had a pretty good point and agreed to allow me to ship it.

It took more than an hour for the woman to package up the saddle. First she made a custom sized box out of cardboard. After taping it up around the saddle, she then sewed a custom fit cloth sleeve for the box, which she then hand-stitched shut and sealed with wax. She told me how much I owed, and I asked how much it would be to send my envelope (containing my absentee ballot) as well. Her response? “The envelope is in the box with the saddle. They’re going to the same address, right?” In the box? Are you kidding me? It had taken so long to package the damn saddle that I wasn’t about to make her do it again (although from the look on her face, she wouldn’t have agreed to do it even if I’d insisted), but dammit! This makes three presidential elections in a row that I’ve effectively been disenfranchised, although this is the first time that it has been the fault of someone in a foreign government! Now I have to print off the Federal Emergency Absentee Ballot and hope that it counts.

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