After committing Kombucha, it was time to get stuff done. First order of business was to find which countries for which we would need Visas.
“We only need to buy two visas ahead of time.” I told Hans.
Hans didn’t trust that and we had to go through all the potential countries we might decide to drive through.
And so on and so forth until I was proven correct as you no doubt surmised. While I might have been obnoxious about being right, everyone was still glad. The total was $300 per visa, per person. Per person!
Paying for visas is easy compared to actually filling out the forms to receive them. If you’ve ever been to developing nations such as Guatemala and have had to fill out any government forms, you know that are just a big scam. The production of these forms is and attempt to bolster the economy. Whole entire villages are tasked with processing a single form for the government in order to try to bolster the economy. The next village over will of course be in charge of stamping the first page of the form before sending it back to the first village for a stamp confirmation form proving that the stamp is legitimate before it goes to a third village to be turned down because the corner of the form is wrinkled.
Our Russian and Kazakhstani visas aren’t so bad as usual. They only require a booking confirmation from a government regulated motel, for two days, with time of arrival to the nearest minute, and the motel has to be between the 60th and 65th N parallel. The applications will also have to be sent to the embassies in obscure parts of the United States like Los Angeles and Washington DC, where a Russian or Kazakhstani man will interrogate your forms. The forms are then left in sensory deprivation for 4-100 weeks before being approved or cremated.
For this reason we are hiring experts who make a living at navigating bureaucratic mazes. The people at “The Visa Machine” are pros at babying you through the steps required so that can be approved to drive through three thousand miles of gray, soulless tundra.
All that was left was to register an account with our visa experts and fill in our general information. Roberta and Hans finished their accounts and payments. I began to register my own account when suddenly my stomach let out a most hideous growl. It was a sound akin to roar of a grizzly bear that has been wounded by an arrow to the heart.
I’m not blaming the Kombucha, but I will say that I had needs more sudden and urgent than driving across the back end of Russia.
“Welp, I’ll do this later.” I said and slapped my laptop closed.
Hans looked surprised and a bit skeptical but Roberta, bless her, intuitively grasped that all was not well and she rallied to my cause, “Yup, time to go.”
I drove home with little regard to the safety of people, objects, or myself. In other words, I drove like a Russian.
In hindsight, when I look at the video of Russian car accidents, I no longer see psychopaths. Rather, I see the victims of Kombucha.