This week in the “wow, really?” department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belarus has provided detailed comments on my recent experience attempting to get a visa for their country. You can read the official government response here in Russian, or over here in a fun translation provided by The Google.
(My favorite line in this translation is “Chris Guillebeau is fundamental no luck” – followed by “a blogger does not have the right to be boring.”)
Among other things, the ministry spokesman says that because “five or six people a day” use the airport ATM with success, there must be something wrong with the debit card I use elsewhere, all over the world. That sounds like a line I could have used in the original post. No kidding, five or six people a day! What an astounding usage rate.
Unfortunately for entertainment’s sake, there’s no real feud—as mentioned, I had fun in Minsk and I wish them well. Also, as mentioned countless times on the blog, I’m a private citizen and have no affiliation with the U.S. State Department. I am well aware that the U.S. often makes it difficult for foreigners to visit our country. So sorry, but I can’t do much about that other than criticize the policy, which I’ve done plenty of times.
No one in Belarus needs to feel bad about the silliness of their government’s bureaucracy, because it’s not their fault. Likewise, there’s no need to vilify travelers from the U.S. just because they are from the U.S. Can’t we all just get along?
Please send any additional complaints about the U.S. visa process to:
Hillary Rodham Clinton
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
See you all soon, and have a great week wherever you are.