Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bureaucracy is Everywhere

Because going to the capital requires such a large time investment, a four hour train ride to and from, and only provides me with a three hour window to accomplish things I tend to save up as many things as I need to get done and schedule my trip to the minute so as to make sure I accomplish everything. Well today started out on a bad foot with me having to throw my plan out the window and just tackle everything in any way possible. I was, amazingly enough, successful.

In addition to receiving my flu shot, the main reason for my visit to Chisinau and other errands, I was also able to finally send off my package of Christmas presents to the United States. I classify this success as a miracle and here is why...

Have you ever tried to fill out paperwork in the United States? Of course you have. Americans love to hand out paperwork for everything. And if you can fill out the whole sheet without making a mistake or having to ask for clarification than it doesn't count as paperwork. Now imagine the fun of filling out paperwork in another language. A language you had no comprehension of until you started learning it 5 months ago. In addition sprinkle in some mail room employees who in true bureaucratic fashion are ostensibly always in a bad mood and not very forgiving of mistakes. And again they do not speak English.

I had attempted to mail my package last weekend on my way to the train station after my week in Chisinau. I in my infinite wisdom had wrongfully assumed that I would simply waltz into the post office, wait in a small line, hand them my package and pay postage and be out in less than five minutes...oh how wrong...As I have mentioned the paperwork was the biggest contributor to my downfall, although cranky postal workers played a part as well. Also in case I have not mentioned it before lines don't really exist in Moldova. Where there would normally be a line in America in Moldova there is usually a crowd. Everyone just stands as close as they can to the window and exercises their right to go next by being the most forceful at shoving their way to the middle and speaking in rapid fire Russian.

However, that ordeal is now over and my package is supposedly on its way to America. But now that I know what goes into sending packages I don't think I will be sending very many more.

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