I have had a suspiciously good run with bureaucracy recently.

  • First there was my passport. I needed a passport that didn't have Israeli stamps, and the British consulate told me I had to mail it to Paris and wait four weeks. The local (Italian) police station handed me a new passport in two hours.

  • Then there was American Express. I have an Alitalia Gold AmEx, but it costs money each year, and since I'm not allowed to put business expenses on it any more, the miles aren't enough attraction. I called AmEx up to cancel the card, but they asked whether I would consider keeping it if they waived the fee for a year.

  • Then there was the Kenyan embassy. Information on the internet was confusing me as to whether I needed a visa beforehand or whether I could buy one in the airport upon arrival, like in Turkey. Unable to fathom the embassy's voicemail tree, I sent them an e-mail, in the full assumption that this would be the last I would hear of them. Instead, not two hours later a very nice lady called me on my mobile (the number's in my sigblock) to confirm that I could buy a visa in the airport and to wish me a very pleasant trip.

  • Finally, needing various vaccinations for my Kenya trip, I called up on Friday afternoon and got an appointment on Saturday morning. Okay, I did get to hang out for an hour in the waiting room, an hour that I spent playing Grand Theft Auto and reading ARC on my iPhone, but then I got my three jabs and was sent on my way.

Now I'm scared. Something bad is sure to happen to balance out my bureaucracy karma.

Eels - The other shoe