Getting the cold shoulder in Moscow

Published on August 27, 2015

My youngest son has been teaching in Moscow for about six months. Recently, he decided to visit the Canadian Embassy. He thought it would be nice to talk to someone there about the services they offered and especially if there were any embassy sponsored opportunities to meet other Canadians.

On approaching the embassy he told me he was comforted by the Maple Leaf flying aloft. He hadn’t seen it in awhile.
When he approached the entrance he found it guarded by a sole Russian security official. Explaining that he was a Canadian citizen and showing his passport, he was allowed to approach the door, which he found to be locked. Taped to it was a note indicating a website to visit for service.
In addition to the note, there was an intercom, which he pressed. The response was a curt, “What do you want?” Taken aback, he muttered something about wanting to know whether he could vote in the upcoming federal election. Again the blunt reply was that all such information was on the website.
He left feeling angered by the abrupt, callous response and wondered if the intercom was being operated by remote control from the PMO! Perhaps they thought he was Mike Duffy?
No warm reception, no welcoming face, not even an Ontario “eh” at the end of the response.
And certainly not the cup of tea offered to visitors in any respectable Newfoundland abode.
The only upside, perhaps, is this experience will toughen him up should he decide to fly home with Air Canada.
Tom Hawco, St. John’s