Today we all went in different directions to get birth certificates. Each family needed a translator and a driver. We finally heard last night that Arri and I would be going with Vladimir and Tanya and we had to be outside the apartment building by 6:45am. I thought that was bad and then I asked what time Brent Milne needed to be ready. Natalie said, "At twelve."
I clarified, "You mean 12:00 noon?"
She said (in her Russian accent), "No-o-o! Twelve o'clock tonight!" Brent was sitting there, he really didn't want to make this 16 hour drive anyway and I just broke out laughing. "Sorry Brent, but you get to leave in a few hours!"
It took us 1.5 hours to get to the town. Another 2 hours sitting in the small Armenian car waiting for Vladimir to get it done and literally 2 minutes to sign the documents. They handed me the new certificates, congratulated us on our new sons and we dashed out of there to get back to Sumy in time to have them "stamped".
We thought our drive was bad but Brent didn't get home until 9:00pm tonight. 21 hours in a car listening to Ukrainian r-r-rock 'n r-r-roll (mostly Western songs remade in Ukrainian or Russian), trying to carry on a conversation with the driver who speaks no english and the young translator who's getting about 70% of the conversation. What a great day!
I'd have to say though that the town we went to was clean and quaint and the women were very nice to us. Most people rode bikes there because there wasn't a mass transit system and most people can't afford a car. I also had to use the bathroom while waiting. Mind you, this is in front of city government building in a town about the size of Midway. They didn't have an actual bathroom but directed me behind the building next to the government building where there was an outhouse. I thnk it was just the neighbor's facility. It was the oldest, stinkiest outhouse I can remember ever using. It didn't even have any toilet paper so thank goodness I didn't have to sqaut! I was afraid a rat was going to squeel out of the hole while I was standing there! :-)
Another great adventure!