Bureaucratic nightmares

by sumpteretc

Today was chock-full of dealing with bureaucracy. I couldn’t go to school at 9:00 as scheduled because I had to get us registered with immigration. You have seven days from your arrival to do this or pay a $200 per person fine. We arrived last Wednesday. Thursday was a holiday. Friday, the boss of our district left the office early, so we couldn’t get our proof of residence. Saturday and Sunday were the weekend, so nothing was open. Monday, the district boss was not in his office. Immigration is closed tomorrow. So, today was the only day I could do what was necessary to avoid the fines.

The school sent someone to help me; I’ll call him Mr. U, because I don’t know his name. Mr. U showed up a little after 9:00, and we walked over to the district boss’s office. This walk only takes about 5 minutes, but it was extremely cold this morning, i.e. -25C.  We entered the office and Mr. U lays our passports and copies of our passports on the boss’s desk, whereupon the boss and Mr. U launch into simultaneous 5-minute tirades at the tops of their lungs. Apparently, the boss was demanding to see Switzerland, he would be very difficult to see. Frankly, with both of them yelling at the same time, I’m not sure how either knew what the other was talking about.

Finally, Mr. U gave up (although he told me he wasn’t afraid of the big bosses). We walked back to the building across from ours, where the apartment boss lives. We walked into her house/office (?) and asked her to write a note to the district boss. She also didn’t know Ewen wasn’t living here, so she called the custodian of our building to come over. She vouched for the fact that Ewen wasn’t here anymore, so the apartment boss wrote a note to the district boss and signed and stamped it. We then carried it back to the district boss, who just chuckled and then filled out the necessary form. We carried it to another office and had it stamped. Finally, Mr. U and I parted ways, me to head for school and him to carry the passports and paperwork to Immigration and continue the bureaucratic circus.