Monday, 13 August 2007
From Russia, with rapacity and aggravation
Felt like a change of location today. I can always return to Turkey another time. But this is not about lugging around FSB-sanctioned plutionium isotopes for some soup flavouring in the Dorchester Hotel, as much as I could venture an opinion on such matters. It's just a swipe at the ludicrous scenario one has to play out to adopt children from Russia. Apparently the whole reason for putting in place Hague Convention agreements between countries wishing in engage in inter-country adoption was to combat a worldwide illicit commercial market in babies for childless couples. So now, instead of shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in hard cash to corrupt middlemen, you shell out a few bricks of hard currency to corrupt government officials and Aeroflot for three, yes three, visits to the orphanage of their choice. Yes, I refer here to the aforementioned goal of expanding the family numbers via a few Russian imports, but we were told last week during our first mandatory adoption seminar that you'd be looking at investing a cool $60K for such an exercise. Looks like it's goodbye Russia and hello Thailand. I'm not about to stump up an arm and leg to fund someone's dacha on the Crimean peninsula, or wherever the Ivans holiday these days.