My first Serbian passport!
Today, May 16, at 1:30 PM, I received my first-ever Serbian passport and the Personal ID card. After a few nail-biting moments in the last three days, my lifelong dream was realized.
It took six months to get here. I took the first step on Nov 20, 2017. The passport and my new ID card rolled off the MUP Serbia production line yesterday – May 15, 2018, also the 40th anniversary of the founding of my business – Annex. In between of those two dates, things happened that might be worth a separate story in and of itself. Maybe one day I will write it.
Meanwhile, I need to take a bow and thank many of my Serbian friends without whose help and dedication this could not have happened. Three people among deserve a special honorable mention – Stasa, Milan and Sandra.
But most of all I have to thank my spirit guides. For, without their help, this would have been merely “an impossible dream.”
When Sandra, the lady in charge passport processing at MUP Serbia-Belgrade (MUP – Ministry of Internal Affairs), handed me my passport in her tiny office this afternoon, I shook her hand and said in front of four other people who witnessed the event:
“You probably have no idea, Sandra, how much this means to me,” I said. “This is a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. My first Serbian passport! You are my hero today.”
And with that, I handed her a nicely designed bouquet of red roses. She looked so touched that she blushed a little.
“It matches my shirt,” she said shyly.
Other witnesses to this (for me) momentous event were all smiles. A lady-policeman said to Sandra, “that is so sweet. I think you should go home now.”
And so we’ve done it! Thank you one and all who have helped achieve this, including the Divine aids.
PS: For those who may be wondering why I never held a Serbian passport since I was born in Belgrade, here’s a brief explanation. The country I was born in was called Yugoslavia. That country no longer exists. So this is the first legal document which affirms my citizenship of a country that has always been the homeland in my heart.
For the full story of what had preceded this achievement, check out this YinYangBob.net post:
UPDATE MAY 17, 2018
A WHOLE NEW WORLD OPENS UP FOR ME NOW
As I was waking up this morning, the day after my “big day” – obtaining the Serbian passport for the first time – the magnitude of this achievement slowly began to sink it. I had assumed viscerally that, considering the vicious US-instigated sanctions against Serbia in the 1990, capped by 78 days of NATO bombing in 1999 (see NATO WAR ON SERBIA: GANG RAPE OF A SMALL COUNTRY, Mar 24, 2014), the two of my countries have different friends and enemies.
You also know the old saying, “the enemy of my enemy if my friend.”
So this morning, as I was still in a semi-conscious state, my guides fed me an idea how to illustrate that visually. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
So here are now three images for you that graphically demonstrate that new world that opened up for me on May 15, 2018, the date Serbia issued my new passport to me.
Epilogue and Prologue to a Six-month Quest
My six-month quest to try and get a Serbian passport started with an idea that came to me on Nov 20, 2017. In early December, I contacted the Serbian embassy in Washington and the Consulate in Chicago. I was hoping my old (now expired) Yugoslav passport would ease the way for an automatic renewal.
Boy, was I ever wrong. I hit a bureaucratic wall at both places who treated me as someone who had to prove his existence. They wanted my birth and citizenship certificates, neither of which I ever had, and neither of which was required in the past to have my Yugoslav passport renewed.
“My goodness,” I said to my nephew. “You would think they would make me an honorary citizen even if I never had passport, in recognition of what I had done for Serbia in the 1990s.”
“That’s typical,” he replied. “Nikola Tesla also died as poor as a mouse. You have to do first before they would appreciate you.”
I then changed the tack and contacted some of my friends and family in Belgrade. I was hoping they might know of a bypass around this wall of bureacracy.
It all started mid-April when a former client of mine invited me to come to their company’s 25th anniversary ball in Moscow. Yes, a ball, like in the old imperial days of Russia.
You know how bad the political relationships are now between the US and Russia, and that they have closed all Russian consulates in the US. So rather than go through a hassle of getting the Russian visa here, I thought I might try to kill two birds with one stone – get a Serbian passport, which does not require a visa to Russia, and fly to Moscow from Belgrade.
I then ran into snags trying to obtain my Birth and Citizenship certificates in Serbia. Without them, one cannot get a passport.
What happened reads like a plot from a Sherlock Holmes or Dan Brown novels. The story has both mysterious and archeological elements, going all the way back to the 4th century – the era of Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to accept Christianity.
The problems seemed insurmountable as of Friday, May 4. My nephew Stasa, who was helping me with all this was in despair. According to the officials in Belgrade, I did not exist, he said.
That weekend, I did some shamanic work during which I asked my spirit guides for help. On Monday, May 7, an elated Stasa emailed me to say that he had “found me.” The next day, he received my Birth and Citizenship certificates. We were on our way…
UPDATE MAY 17, 2018
WOW! I GOT A TICKET TO WAGNER’S MASTERPIECE Götterdämmerung AT THE BOLSHOI
I can’t believe my luck. Or I should say, the benevolence of my spirit guides. First they performed miracles for me to get the Serbian passport. With which I can now travel to Russia. And tonight, I was able to get the last single ticket for Wagner’s masterpiece Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)) in one of the world’s most famous theaters. Probably the only one among those to which I had not been before.
That’s the last out of 2,200 seats at this grand venue! Plus it is the 8th row of orchestra. These are the best seats in the house which normally cost 15,000 rubles. But for some reason, I was able to buy it tonight for only 4,000.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU… MY MASTERS, GUIDES AND TEACHERS! AND THE CREATOR, OF COURSE!
I had actually checked out the Bolshoi schedule several weeks ago and saw that Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) had been sold out. So I don’t know what made me check again tonight. But I am sure glad I did.
This brought back memories of Elizabeth and I getting the two seats for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London last year. And of our seeing the two of Wagner’s four operas which constitute the Ring of the Nibelungen, probably the most massive undertaking in the history of music.
We saw the Valkyries, the #2 of the Ring, in Honolulu in Feb 2010. And we saw Das Rheingold, the #1, only last month in Phoenix. And now I will get a chance to see the six-hour grand daddy of the Ring – Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods). Which I had also tried to book in San Francisco this year, but the schedule didn’t work out for me.
Wow, I get goosebumps just thinking about all these “coincidences” and serendipities..