I was queuing up at the post-office to arrange a subscription for a few periodicals. Before me in the line a young father, holding his little daughter by the hand (the daughter was about three years old), was trying to receive a parcel addressed, as he insisted, to his wife. The thing was that he had only his wife’s passport and no other document to confirm his matrimonial union with the addressee.

“How can I be sure that you are really this lady’s husband?” kept asking the postal clerk pointing at the picture in the passport. “There may be a case when a person finds a passport with a notification inside and goes to the post office to get the postal item.”

“I can phone my wife right now and she will say who I am.”

“But it won’t be necessarily your wife.” The woman at the counter stood to her guns.

“Really, I do not know …”, the man continued. “If I had arrived here by car, I would show you my driving license, but I came by bus…”

After a few moments of silence, the clerk rose to her feet, stepped from behind the counter, bent over the girl and, holding the open passport before the little girl’s face, asked her: “Who is this?”

“Me mamma,” the girl said.

“Ok, you may get the parcel,” said the clerk to the man.


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  1. Olga Says:

    She is a nice lady. I guess, in another country It would be called rules, not bureaucracy 🙂

  2. vitaliyb Says:

    I agree with you absolutely, Olia. Want just to say that your word “another” tells me tons. If to re-word the familiar quotation about promises, I’d say that in Ukraine “rules are like pie-crust: they are made to be broken.” The rules may be set here any time by any boss (regardless of how big or small the boss may be) and at any place. Somewhat earlier I was booking a P.O. box at the same post office. The “boss” (don’t know her rank in the hierarchy) asked me: “Have you got your tax-payer’s number with you? (=”identyfikacijnyj kod”)” — “In the contract nothing is said about the tax-payer’s number”, I replied. The lady perused the contract I was about to sign and nodded her consent. Hooray!

    Anyway, thanks for the idea about another blog-entry which I may write some day 🙂

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