Monday, January 11, 2010

TRP: Day One

This is part of my series on applying for temporary residency in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In this post: I visit the Office of Federal Migration Services, but don't get inside yet.

January 11th. The government offices are open again.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was coming down with something. So much for conquering the world...I couldn't even manage to get myself dressed until about 2pm.

I grabbed some combination of documents, including my passport, which had been mixed in with materials from my last trip to the orphanage: worksheets, flashcards, and a ton of stickers. continue reading/-


The address of the Federal Migration Services was written down, and I had checked out its location on the map. 3 metro stops. Of course, once I got out of the metro, I was disoriented. I'm one of those people who has to turn the map in order to find my way. I picked a direction and started walking. Within the snatches of conversation, I kept hearing people saying the name of the street I was looking for. "Voronina....Voronina....Voronina...."

A young man approached me with the same request. "Do you know where Voronina is?"

"I'm not sure, but I'm looking for it, too."

"I need building 10."

"Me too." He lumbered off in the direction he thought was right. I took out my map. :)

Now confident of where I was, I started off again, seeing the man lumbering in the snow drifts ahead of me. Eventually we both ended up in the same place...a parking lot outside a small office building that was guarded by a fence.

There were some people of various nationalities standing around. This wasn't the morning shift, where everybody fought for a place in line. This was the afternoon shift, where...we weren't sure exactly what was supposed to be happening.

There was a schedule posted, that we took turns reading. It listed times for citizens of various countries to come and have consultations. But as far as I could tell, there was nothing pertaining to countries outside of the former USSR. And no one European-looking around to ask.

Everyone seemed totally lost. One lady even phoned a friend, "Everyone is just standing here not saying anything. No one knows anything."

Finally a guy emerged from behind the gate, seeming to have some answers. He said that there were different lists for different countries.

"Belarus?"

"The red car," he said, pointing.

"Azerbaijan?"

"The blue SUV."

"Ukraine?"

"Ukraine is done...they already got 30 people. Come back next Monday."

It seemed like the main action took place in the morning and the afternoon was for scheduled appointments. I would have to come back another time...

1 comment:

  1. I just love the way you tell these stories...it's like being there.

    ReplyDelete

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