11 August, 2009

The Russia Diaries: 12 August - The Post Office

At the post office to register our visas.


What a torment. An avalanche of paperwork and government bureaucracy required to visit a still archaic country.
     "Don't be fooled by our shopping malls," said Vadim as he filled out the forms for us, "We are still barbaric in many ways," and he checked off about 100 boxes. "Every day I spend hours filling our thousands of forms, hours I could be spending with my patients. But I must do it to prevent prosecution of course. I am not a dermatologist, I am operating on people's spines!"

We fill out the forms.
In Cyrillic.
We report to a window.
And eccentric elderly woman with gold teeth makes photocopies of a bazillion documents.
She points us to another window where we are to buy an envelope.
We buy the envelope.
We report to another window where we are to buy stamps
We buy them.
We report to a line where we are to send it off.
We stand in this line.
People cut in it.
We arrive at the window and after more kerfuffle send them off.

The process takes two hours.

The Post Office is damp and lightless and I cannot understand how we could possibly have survived it!
     "Russians must make everything hard..." Vadim sighs, "else, how would we suffer?" he twinkles.


  1. You can write in Cyrillic too? Is there no end to your talents, Al?

  2. Oh no don't get too excited, I can write it like a CHILD but Vadim did the majority of the form filling work!! After all , he is a doctor thus, a professioanl form filler-outer...

  3. paperwork. UGH.



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