Our first meeting at RIAN seemed to be a good start in the week, with two young and very bright Russians, Evgenia and Vladimir, both handling international relations. They did their best, but even they could not cut through the bureaucracy of the Kremlin security in time (N7W had asked for permits to film at the beginning of the year …and now they were telling us they needed at least six weeks!!).
So again, we’re “Lost in bureaucracy!”
We were trying to film Red Square with its beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral and the fairytale-like Kremlin wall, all shiny and bright. Of course, we were stopped and almost arrested several times by huge, unsmiling secret-service agents demanding our passports and muttering “problems” while pointing at the cameras, who looked like they had stepped out of a James Bond movie, and I am not kidding. Plainclothes agents and uniformed agents and uniformed guards and more guards and policemen—it is amazing that there is room for any tourists on Red Square! But we persisted; we were determined to include Russia in the New7Wonders world campaign! Russia was not helping us much, and it even seemed like they were trying their best to exclude themselves, not because they don’t believe in N7W but because they are tied down by a huge, inflexible bureaucratic quicksand. I know it sounds crazy, but when we put aside the images of the military parades on Red Square for a moment, especially lit at night, it lookslike 365 days of Christmas!