Friday, July 11, 2008
This is the opposite of hibernation, it is what you do in summer when it is too hot to go out, and it is what I intend to do all weekend. The supplies you need for estivation are airconditioning, chardonnay (just the right quantity, not too much), mineral water, fruit and stitching, plus a few audio books and some loose clothing. Estivation can be interrupted by short dashes to the pool. Estivation is not only for human beings, also hotel kitties can take part, although not in the chardonnay and fruit bit.

Concentrating on estivation will also mean that I have no time to think about lawyers, the Cyprus lawyer seems to have vanished, or at any rate she is not taking calls from the US lawyer. This is typical, she tried this trick with Leo once, and he had a field day leaving messages and eventually I think he made a complaint about her to the head of the firm. As usual, she had some wonderful excuse, like she was in court.............. at midnight, yes, sure. Poor US lawyer, who seems very normal and efficient, is quite frustrated by this, and I think she is seeing what Alec and I have been through over the past three years.

Kathryn, the immigration authorities here make the NZ ones look like pussy cats. My main experience of the NZ ones is whenever I come back to New Zealand, they always say "welcome home" when they see my passport.

This certainly is not the case in Cyprus, where the officials at the airport are actually policemen, and many of the officials at the immigration office are policemen as well, and armed ones at that. A visit there is fairly scary, as there are a lot of policemen and soldiers wandering around with firearms. Normally the main office there is a seething mass of foreigners who all need permits, but there are only two ladies behind the counter - most employees here are male, but these two ladies are the ones who do any work that gets done, and probably get bullied by the men as well.

Around the edges of the room are offices with the doors shut, mostly occupied by the male officials who are interviewing female artistes, they require at least one personal meeting before a permit is granted. But there is one door marked "Housemaids Complaints" (which always makes me think of knees), that has a long queue of tearful or enraged-looking Philipino or Sri Lankan girls. Tears and rage are, in my opinion, an entirely natural reaction to being referred to as "the domestic" by some snippety woman from the suburbs who expects to be called "the madam", and it's no wonder the queue is huge. No idea what happens to them.

Where do I fit in? Well, the last time I was there, I got ushered into a director's office, they seemed to think neither the large room nor any of the closed-door rooms were suitable for me. I sat there, on a sofa next to a soldier with a machine-gun, for about an hour while my lawyer screamed at the director and he screamed back. The lawyer, the director and the machine-gun guy all smoked several cigarettes during this time. Then we left. I don't think it either advanced or regressed my work permit application, it just seemed to be something that had to be done.
posted by Ally at 2:58 pm ¤ Permalink ¤