a day in the life of...kafka?
We (E and D) reached the Building at 9:30. First the taxi driver told us that the building we wanted was not the Building. He said there are three buildings and he dropped us off at the Building, and we got down relucantly, not wanting to believe him. He was right, though. The Building was supposed to open at 9:00 and we thought we were fairly early, considering that we had to cross almost the whole country to get there.But we were mistaken. Crowds stood at the entrance, and when we heard the clamour of foreign voices, we realised we were already taking the first steps towards a strange land. The Guard told us that we cannot enter without a Number. We asked him- what number? and where do we get it? He said- come the evening before, and only then you will be allowed to enter the Building. All the people standing there laughed at our naiveness. But E told the guard-please we come from very far, a place called SB. Do you know where it is? We cannot afford to come here everyday. The Guard said he did not know, but no matter he would let us in. That was the First Kindness. We entered the Building but the problem increased in scale. There was another huge crowd of people standing at a door with words written in three ancient languages. In front of the Door stood the Selector, a man who's duty was to pick out the Chosen Ones from the crowd. The Chosen Ones were selected in ascending order of the Number. And we didn't have a Number. So E went to him and said- We come from SB, can you let us in? And he said- No way I can let you into the Inner Sanctum. As we stood there among the thronging crowds, the Second Kindness occurred. A soldier who did not need a Number but had mistakenly acquired one gave his Number to E. Now we had a Number, if only one. We had a chance! Seven hours we stood in the Numbered Line (as opposed to the Unnumbered Line, which consisted of people who had incurred Favours from past incarnations or something), a line that magically swelled and diminished, but still the people kept coming. Seven hours we listened to the voices speak strange words, all uncomprehensibly flowing around, mysterious in everything but tone. Which was mainly irritation. We spoke tiny phrases to our accidental comrades on this Journey to enter the Inner Sanctum; all kinds of people making the same trip: a trilingual Heartbreaker, a blonde Moodwrecker, a retiring Visitor, even a New Soldier. Finally the eyes of the Selector fell on us and we were able to enter the Inner Sanctum, just before the Door closed for the day. But further problems awaited us. Or rather me. The Woman in the Glass Cage told me that I need the true Invitation and the one I had was not good enough. Apparently it was okay for E, but because my history was different from hers, I was denied the favours. Fortune shall surely favour me another time.
So I have to go to the Russian Embassy again sometime next week. And this time I hope I will get the VISA without any additional trauma. The only good thing about this trip was the walk along the sea in Tel-Aviv, after we left the embassy. And the best sleep ever, on the way back, out of sheer exhaustion.