Back in the office in Manhattan under a pile of paperwork

Today I applied for a letter of Business Russian Visa Support, which seems to be the least painful way to stay in Russia for more than 30 days. It doesn't mean that you need to do business, the site insists; "business" and "long term" are interchangeable terms, and at no point will I be expected to do any business. Later it reminds me that I'll need a letter from my business. What? It's all very non-deterministic and I feel a bit anxious when I think too hard about it. I'm dealing with this by not thinking too hard about it.

The letter of invitation should take 14 days to arrive, after which I can apply for the actual visa. In the meantime, I'm waiting for confirmation of my ferry journey into China (Osaka to Shanghai) and my train tickets out again (Beijing to Ulan Bator) so that I have any chance of convincing the Chinese to give me a visa. In both cases, the actual tickets can't be sent out until closer to the time, so I'm hoping a convincing email receipt will be enough.

Oh, I'm sure it'll be fine, and if it's not, I'll have a lovely trip around the US and Europe :-)

51 days.