The inside of the building was the spitting image of what you imagine a Russian Police HQ to look like. Imagine a project in the Bronx that hasn’t been repaired since the day it was built and you start to get the picture. The chief had a small office painted a dirty yellowish color, and his walls were dotted with scantily clad women on calendars. The room reeked of cigarette smoke. The police chief himself was dressed casually in a pair of blue jeans and a sweater.
After explaining the situation, the police chief gave our hero two options—one of which he strongly discouraged us from doing. Hence, he gave us one option. The non-option was to make a claim against the police. The other option was to say that our hero had lost his passport, get a spavka (a ubiquitous word in Russian for a piece of official paper—in this case a piece of paper that would say our hero lost his passport and give our hero permission to walk around, though our hero is not excited to use this piece of paper the next time someone asks for his passport), and come back on Saturday to talk to police and see if they might not give my passport back. So, we chose option one.
The rest of the story is boring and involves hours filling out paperwork. Interestingly, since our hero’s claim was a total fable, a police men dressed in the nastiest suit and one of the ugliest old white dress shirt—you know the ribbed see-through kind popular in the eighties—dictated what had happened. According the my aide the accommodation manner, the guy was a dunce and kept on using the wrong gender to talk about me even though I was sitting right in front of him. The story went something like:
“Our hero was waling down the street, when the passport fell out of his pocket”
However, this story took three handwritten pages to complete. Finally after many hours, and a headache from the chain-smoking police offices, our hero retired for the day and waited until Saturday to come back to the police station…
Posted by Aaron at March 3, 2004 06:31 PM