08 April 2008

I tentatively admit that there are a few things I won't miss about Russia.

This was the form I had to fill out in order to pay the fine for not registering properly as a foreigner (don't ask):



The humor of this form is most effective if you can read Russian, because then you will recognize that even in the places where there are words instead of endless strings of numbers, they aren't actually words, but abbreviations, such as "UFK RF in RO." That's apparently who I paid the fine to. As for the numbers, the first one is the individual taxation number, but as for the KPP, the OKATO code, the BIK and the KBK (a whopping 20 digits!), I have no idea. I assume they're necessary to make sure my 2000 rubles goes to the right place.

And of course, I couldn't make this payment at the police station where the fine was issued. I had to go to the bank, get the form pictured above, copy all the numbers and abbreviations into it from the form they gave me at the police station, and stand in line with all the people paying their electricity and phone bills. Hapless as I am, I got there at 12:15 pm. That was a big mistake, because the tellers go on a one-hour lunch break at 1 p.m. (yes, all of them – apparently the concept of shifts has gotten about as far in the Russian state banking system as it has in the Russian post office), and trying to get your bills paid as close to 1 p.m. as possible is apparently some kind of masochistic Russian sport. So there were about thirty of us in line, all hoping to dodge in under the wire. I was the second-to-last one to make it through. (Wish I'd been last – then I could have found out what the prize was.)

The sheet that the above form is lying on top of? My new alien registration. Or one of the incarnations of it. It might be the one that was filled out "incorrectly" (we didn't complete the bottom two lines because neither I nor my advisor could figure out what the **** was supposed to go there). That incarnation was later destroyed by the extremely crabby migration officer, who yelled at us for our incompetence and then actually took her pen and scribbled all over the incomplete form so that we had to start over on a fresh one. Yeah, I wish I were making that up.

3 comments:

Anna-Martha said...

Yikes, migration officers must be specially selected for rudeness!

The form though, makes me ... happy to not be a translator in Moscow anymore! - but with a twinge of nostalgia. I remember translating those abbreviations, but luckily don't remember what they mean, except that KPP is the tax registration reason code, and BIK is bank identification code, and oh dear, I should go find something more useful to fill my brain with!

Anna

Leslie said...

Oh, Anya, I love you. :) I'm so impressed that you actually know what these numbers mean. And I have a newfound respect for delovye perevodchiki.

Celine said...

Eeeuw, that's horrible! I'm with Anna on the selected migration officers. I think it goes for embassy personell as well, though. Anything to make a visit to Russia difficult and unpleasant! Well, you'll be smiling about it in a while, is my guess. Take care!