London, United Kingdom
“You could be a criminal”, said the woman behind the counter at the Russian Visa Application Centre brightly.
I had been stood in front of her and a number of her colleagues for over half an hour, trying desperately to comply with the recent requirement to provide fingerprints alongside visa documentation for entry into Russia.
It turns out I just don’t have recognisable prints: years of email-writing and guitar-playing have evidently worn down the skin on my fingertips (or ‘pillows’ as I now know the Russians call them) to an illegible sheen.
1. I tried drying my hands.
2. I tried using hand sanitizer.
3. I tried standing on one leg and singing the Russian national anthem very passionately.
All to no avail!
Any suggestions as to how I could turn this new found lack of fingerprints to my advantage in day-to-day life are very welcome!
In the meantime, they have sent my visa application off with a covering note confirming for what it’s worth that I am definitely a person who has fingers, albeit uncapturable ones.
I’d cross my fingers during this nervous wait to discover whether I can make the train journey across Russia that was the original inspiration for my trip. But I’d just probably make matters worse.