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I just returned from the Slovak Aliens’ Police office, where I received my freshly-minted 1954 Convention Travel Document (cestovný doklad osoby bez štátnej príslušnosti).
I also submitted an application there for issuance of a replacement sticker for my residence permit, which I’ll have to pick up there in a couple of weeks.
So, I’m now an officially-documented stateless person. I’m also once again officially a human being, at least as far as concerns those annoying institutions like banks, government offices and so on, which treat people like they don’t exist if they don’t have currently-valid state identity papers.
Surprising to me, my new Proof of Humanity actually does have information and the Slovak national regalia on the front cover.
Some interesting text, verbatim from the English version, from page 33:
The holder of travel document under the Convention of 28 September 1954 is an alien with legal status of a person without state citizenship, who was granted a permission for permanent residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic. He/she is under protection of the Slovak Republic. All whom it may concern are hereby requested to afford the holder of this travel document all necessary aid and protection according to international law.
Some typical translation errors there with regard to the use of articles. Neat conflict, too, between what this document says and what my visa says. I’m actually here on a temporary residence permit, not permanent.
In any case, coming back from bureaucroland I couldn’t get Iron Maiden’s old track “Back in The Village” out of my head.
Welcome back to The Village, Number Six.
(Updated: linked to full-resolution images)
Iron Maiden, “Back in the Village”, Powerslave, 1984.
Turn the spotlights on the people,
Switch the dial and eat the worm.
Take your chances, kill the engine,
Drop your bombs and let it burn.
White flags shot to ribbons,
The truce is black and burned,
Shellshock in the kitchen,
Back in the village again,
In the village.
I’m back in the village again.
Throwing dice now, rolling loaded,
I see sixes all the way.
In a black hole, and I’m spinning
As my wings get shot away.
Questions are a burden,
And answers are a prison for oneself,
Shellshock in the kitchen,
Tables start to burn.
No breaks on the inside,
Paper cats and burning barns,
There’s a fox among the chickens,
And a killer in the hounds.
But still we walk into the valley,
And others try to kill the inner flame,
We’re burning brighter than before,
I don’t have a number, I’M A NAME!
Back in the village,
And I’m back in the village,
And I’m back in the village, again
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