Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Once upon a Transcript

How did I forget to tell this story?!!

Well, we needed to get the kids registered for school.

Doug and I went to the school and got a hand-written note from the Asst. Principal.  I have no idea what it said because it was in a different language, but she told us to take it to the Government Education building downtown.

We asked our language helper "Surprise" where it was, and he said he knew.  But when we asked some Americans who had already gone through this process, they said there was another building we had to go to first...across town.

We had also heard it is best for "the man" to go, so Doug and our language helper went with sealed transcripts and a sealed letter from the Asst. Principal across town.

They arrived a little past 9.  Surprise read all the signs and figured out they needed to go upstairs.  On the 2nd floor, he read more signs and realized they needed to go to the 3rd floor.

They asked someone a question who then took the sealed envelope from the Asst. Principal and tore it open.  They were then instructed to go across the hall to Room #1.

It was locked.

They sat and waited.

Surprise said, “This is the problem.  People have no money.  They aren’t being paid, so there is no motivation to work.”

An hour later, TEN people were waiting when the door finally opened.

The line filed in, but since no one follows "line etiquette," Doug and Surprise ended up last.

After waiting for their turn at the counter, they finally get up front, and the lady tells them that she is "over Norway and Sweden.  I’m not over American students; however, the lady who is, is not here.  She stayed home because her daughter is sick."

Surprise tells Doug to, “Hold on.”  He goes to Room #5 telling Doug, "This is a boss.  Not the boss of boss, but the boss of this department."

He's a very large man.

Now, some from the other room were in front of them in new room.  People kept coming in, giving the boss stacks of papers.  

When Doug was at the front, the boss looked at the papers from the principal and asked for the “certificates” (transcripts).  He opened them, and Doug and Surprise stood there for 30 minutes while the boss passed time taking phone calls and stopping to look at different stacks of papers. 

He finally said, "You need to go down to Room #1" (where they were previously).

The lady who was "over Norway and Sweden" printed out pages that Suprise had to copy the transcript onto in the foreign language and translated basic questions for Doug to answer on each kid.  Full name, birthdate, etc.

Then she told them to return to office #5. 

The boss looked at the papers, asked for transcripts (he had only looked at Karis’ before).  He looked meticulously, and asked tons of questions. 

When he opened Caleb's, he asks, "Where is Caleb?  What is he doing?  Sleeping?"

Doug said, "He’s playing soccer with friends."

"What’s his favorite team?"

Doug made up one..."Chelsea." 

"I like Germany National team.  German coach is coaching USA now.  Very good.  Very good."

He then opened Kylie's.  Looked at it and said, "Go to room #1."

When they got to the front of the line again, they were told to fill out more papers...  More translating. 

They gave the completed papers to her, then she filled out more papers and put them in a folder, stapled them all together (4 duplicates of everything), gave them back to Doug, and told them to go to Room # 5.

The boss had to sign all 4 copies on all 3 kids.  Then he went back to stamp all 12 copies.

He had a hard time.  The stamp was running out of ink, so he stamped harder and harder.  Doug said it scared Surprise.

The boss then said, "Go to Room #2."

They did.  Someone else signed the papers. 

Then they went to Room #3 and handed them to another lady because she had to sign all the papers. 

She was mad!  "Why is this stamp so light?"

Surprise said, "It’s not my fault.  It’s your fault.  You people are the ones stamping it."

She marched down to Room #5.  She got onto her boss and complained that the stamps weren't dark enough.  She then tried to use white-out so she could stamp over his stamps with better ink.

The boss in Room #5 said they need to come back on Thursday (it was Tuesday).  The lady over American affairs was out sick that day and the next.


Surprise went back and picked up all of our papers on Thursday before coming to language class.

Government building #1 done.

Sort of.

One more to go...I think.

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