Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bureaucracy about town

I had to go to my bank here to get a statement. My friend lives near that metro, and I had letters for her, so it seemed like I could combine the errands. The only problem of course being that I couldn't leave Sophia for too long.

It was my first time traveling that far within the city since May or so. Six months! I was nervous about how I'd hold up physically. I guess I didn't go anywhere without David for a long time, but we did go as a family to church and elsewhere. In fact, as I left today, a friend from church was on his way over to fix David's old stroller for Sophia!

I felt okay physically and it was good to be out in the world...a little bit of culture shock and a little bit of post-partum shock, or whatever you call it when you're doing the same old things, but as a different person.

I met up with my friend and we headed over to a cafe to sit for a few minutes. As we walked in, the guy making crepes (blini) was a kid (now grown) that I'd known in the orphanage. I started talking to him until I realized he was working on an order. They had changed the cafe around and I felt a bit discombobulated and had trouble ordering "Earl Grey" with the right Russian pronunciation. I remember those old days trying to order McDonald's and drawing out all those words, Beeeg Mahhhhk, Kyehhhchup so that the servers would understand.

We only stayed for a little while as I was nervous about getting to the bank. My friend came with me since she had the day off. While waiting in line, I looked through my paperwork and felt so confused about the dates. My latest papers said "2015," but when was that? Last year? And I hadn't been back to this bank since last June? What had happened in the meantime? Had I skipped a year of government inspection? I had a translation of my latest bank statement, so I must have used it for going to the UK. Was that last year?

The clerk called me over and had a form for me to fill out. Incidentally, for the IRS, which meant I had to fill out all my info. in English. Doesn't sound complicated, but it's really hard for me now to write out Russian words in the Latin alphabet. It's like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. At one point I did switch alphabets, but didn't get chastised.

After muddling through the documentation, I was told to come back the next day...ah, well. My friend and I said goodbye and I headed back to the metro.

Back home, our friend was still fixing the stroller. Then he and Andrei left together as Andrei headed out for a radio gig.

I need to mail off my documents to the immigration bureau and then my reward will be to get going with Advent.


  1. Oh, my goodness! What a well-written post! So much so that I almost FEEL your confusion and disorientation. (Or, is that because I am so close to that state all the time, anyway!) I'm always getting my years messed up. Anyway, I'm glad you got your coffee. I certainly recall much better coffee (and food in general) at McDonalds in Moscow than locally. The coffee with Russian ice cream in it was particularly wonderful.

    1. Akh! Just realized you no longer have "recent comments" on your sidebar. That's where I'd go to see if you responded to me.... :)

    2. AND - glad you wrote; I've been concerned about you.

  2. Blogger never restored my sidebar. I'm upset. :( I'll have to look for a new recent comments widget, not to mention all those lost blog links!

  3. We need another post.....I keep checking.

    1. So glad you are writing again! What a wealth of posts to catch up on!


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