Friday, August 02, 2013


Well now, a lot could have happened to completely derail this day, right? I mean, I could have slipped, bumped, stumbled. I could have been told I have five months to live.

None of that happened.

But I did have a beastly phone call with the Mr. Consul from the Polish Consulate in Chicago and that was unfortunate, as no good can ever come from a conversation with a Mr. Consul from the Polish Consulate in Chicago.

But first, there was breakfast.

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Soon after, the phone rang and I had an hour's worth of clarifications and explanations to listen to. It appears that my hue and cry caused the staff of bureaucrats at the Consulate to hold a meeting to discuss my case and to develop a coordinated response to future such cases. You're thinking -- that's good, no?

No. They came up with a hard line solution which is so ridiculously difficult for any sane person to implement that it really becomes no solution at all. The newest: before I can do anything, ANYTHING more, I must register my divorce with the Polish courts. Not my marriage, mind you, because they think that would be dishonest. So the divorce. Maybe then the marriage, but that's neither here nor there right now. Moreover, I must do it by myself, in Poland, because, well, it's a shame but their hands are tied -- they don't do such things. Just passports. They're all about passports in Chicago.

I ask, what I think, is a key question -- so, you think a person like me needs to travel to Poland to register a divorce before she can obtain her passport to travel anywhere at all?

I should have saved my breath. The response was long winded and irrelevant, The elders have spoken. Even though I waved the "I'm a lawyer!" card, and, too, the "my father worked his young years in consulates here, just like you!" but it was so useless.

In the end, I did point out that I already had a Polish passport with my married name in it, it's just that it had expired. Well, Mr Consul tells me, now that my room is empty, I can tell you in confidence that I am well aware of the fact that passports had been issued in all sorts of inappropriate ways...
You have no evidence that this was my case! (In fact, mine was a boring, straightforward case of a person who comes for one reason or another and then winds up staying.)
That is true. And it is also true that we have been perpetuating a series of mistakes and omissions. But we will now conform to the law and henceforth do things by the book.
Whose book? You are interpreting laws in the most bizarrely complicated way possible!

By the way, my Polish gets better and better as these conversations proceed. That means that by the end, I talk as all Poles do: at five hundred words per minute. And that is no exaggeration.

Bottom line -- approach the courts in Poland. Huh. That will be the next chapter in the book on how something that should be easy grows so big as to swallow you whole and leave your loved ones wondering -- what just happened here?

In other news, it rained last night. Mighty big and loud drops of rain. The garden (and the bugs) was so happy. In the morning sunlight, it simply glowed.

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In the afternoon, I peeked in on Goldie, my older girl's cat. She gets the ending photo for today.


No no! Not that one! The more playful shot!

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And there you have it. A day with heart. If you can forget about exasperating phone calls.