Journey to the Land of the Soviets | Journalism

The worst thing is not knowing. The wait, the queue, the burnout…it’s all bearable if we know what to expect. But we don’t know. We were not told anything. It is an arbitrary ruling. Some will be selected and some will not.

Posted at 5:00 am

Catherine Laverne plunged into this troubling bubble on Friday. I traveled through space and time without leaving Montreal. For 18 hours she lived in some kind of Soviet system, a bleak place where travelers moved motionless from hope to despair, from anger to surrender, from solidarity with everyone for themselves.

All this happened … at the passport office in the Guy Favreau complex.

Arriving at 5:30 a.m. in the hope of obtaining a passport for her daughter Lily, Catherine Laverne experienced what looked like “collective shock,” fueled by an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

The Montreal writer drew from him an evocative text that was published today in our debate section.

Shortly after seven in the morning, the security men upset the delicate balance created during the night by moving the queue arrangement. Hey Hey! “I’ve been here since yesterday evening, madam; yes, but I, my flight is at five in the evening today, sir; resume your place in line; there is no line…”

A young agent approached to distribute the numbers. The numbers are very important. Payments, criticism. “The client seemed frightened,” says Catherine Lavarin, and she made her way to get a prized piece of yellow paper. I inherited noh 39, which was of no use to him…for anything.

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Catherine Laverne waited and waited and waited again. Sometimes, without pretending anything, some people approached the employees in hopes of getting bits of information. They mostly came back with rumours.

The rumors swelled up and out of concern. A man and his son, who had come up with incompatible images, were forced to leave empty-handed; The lady in the blue jacket had problems due to the inaccessibility of the defendant…

Suddenly someone whispered: Police. The police are there.

It was 5pm, an hour after the official closing. “There we said to ourselves: It doesn’t look good. They’re all going to tell us to go away. They called the police to avoid any problems. In Laval, that afternoon, the office closure turned into a riot.”

The office remained open. Keep waiting. Over the course of hours, solidarity was woven between the afflicted companions. where are you going? In Morocco, in France, in Cancun, at Disney World. When did you send your order? in April. in February. in December.

No one was neglected. Everyone waited until the last minute for a passport that never came.

No one was able to get information about his file, despite his repeated attempts to find out what to do, where to go, when, what documents to bring …

the phone ? Forget that. You will be hanging out online for hours. for nothing.

Location ? He will recommend that you “wait until you receive your passport before finalizing your travel plans”, but also “provide evidence that you need the passport within two business days or less”…

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Completely disconnected from reality, the site will also tell you that the waiting time in Guy-Favreau is three hours…

On this account, you can also watch videos of unicorns.

Catherine Lavarin insists: the staff did their best. She saw one crying. “You feel like you are at the mercy of a machine that is too big to change.”

It is the very system that decides that humans are powerless to modify it. This is really scary.

Catherine Lavarin

In the end, the name Lily appeared. satisfaction. But also guilt: those around her, others were not called. They were told you could come back on Monday morning.

Let the nerves go. There was no logic in this passport lottery. Those who arrived at the last minute had obtained the document while the others, who had spent the night on concrete in the Jay Favreau compound, left empty-handed. Once again, anger rose.

“But I have already postponed my flight twice, madam,” exclaimed a man. When will I get my passport? Another broke out in tears: his mother had just died in Kinshasa, and he will not be at the funeral.

“Why them, why us?” asked Catherine Lavraine. She was ashamed of her luck.

We hear everywhere that it is the problem of the rich. Not only that. The man who will not be able to bury his mother in Kinshasa does not have the “problem of the rich”. So is the lady who wanted to go to Disney World. She had been saving for years to provide this getaway for her two autistic sons. It was their first trip. They have dreamed of it since they were young.

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Lily celebrates her 20th birthday in Berlin. Her mother says: “She is leaving for Europe two years after the outbreak of the epidemic. She did her CEGEP in her bedroom in front of a screen. It had an impact on her development, so she can put up with it … I don’t consider it just a luxury.”

At the same time, she is aware of her privilege. This trip is not necessary. But it is important.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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