Chasing My Passport From the Soviet Union’s Collapse to the Shuttering of Seattle's Russian Consulate


When I first moved to Seattle I was working as a security guard at the Westin Building. This is the large office tower adjacent to the hotel. The Russian consulate was located in this building at the time.

Property management assigned the guards a rather unusual request - each night we were to go in the men's bathroom, remove all the used paper towels from the garbage can and count the number of vodka bottles at the bottom of the can. That was it. Generally there were 2-3 bottles per night.

Everybody knew it was the Russians doing the drinking. For some reason they were too embarassed to trash the bottles in their own office garbage cans and instead buried them in the bathroom.

Thats all I can add to a story about the Russian consulate.

What has all that got to do with reading a news alert and getting downtown? A waste of time.