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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

russian visa application

here are some selected questions from my russian visa application for americans. to their credit, most of this used to be on a separate form for american males...

-Do you have any specialized skills, training or experience related to fire-arms and explosives or to nuclear, biological or chemical activities? If yes, please explain:

-Have you ever performed military service? If yes, indicate the country, branch of service, rank, military occupation and dates of service:

-Have you ever been involved in an armed conflict, either as a member of the military service or a victim? If yes, please explain:

-Have you ever been sick with a communicable disease of risk for the public or suffered a dangerous physical or mental disorder?

-Have you ever abused drugs or been a drug addict?

While it's true that I don't spend a lot of time filling out visa applications, these seem a little unusual. for example, if i had significant experience with nuclear, biological or chemical activities, i suspect i might think twice about detailing them on a visa application. i did very well in mr. johnson's 11th grade chem lab, and even better in biology in 10th grade...even funnier is that i had to get a notarized letter on hospital stationery that certifies that i do not have HIV/AIDS, and another letter certifying that i am in good general health. the good old duma is treating the russian aids crisis like some problem from abroad because it's easier to enforce visa laws than to accept that the real problem is home-grown drug abuse and prostitution...