Sunday, November 03, 2002

I had checked on Wednesday if my plane ticket (from Moscow to Shanghai) had arrived. I needed it to enter Russia and possibly to obtain my visa. They seem to want proof that I intend to leave and am not planning to start a new life as Grozny-based IT consultant.
It wasn’t in my pigeon hole and the front desk didn’t know anything about it. I sent an email to the US to confirm it’s status – they email me back a day later telling me that the package arrived on Monday and was signed for by ‘U.O.’. Nobody here by that name apparently. What follows is one and a half days of Sino-Cymru dialog and general arsing around.
I eventually manage to get delivery list from the local courier company faxed through to the front desk here where the guy tells me that the delivery address listed in Chinese is somewhere else entirely. He insists I take a cab take a cab to the place where it’s been delivered as it’s too far to walk. We get in a taxi and show him the address, he drives around the corner and stops at a hotel. It’s there alright, it has my name, the address of the place I’m staying, the telephone number of the place I’m staying. They signed for it on Monday and have had it all week without informing me so I, the company who sent it, and the guy behind the desk here (who gets confused sometimes and starts talking Japanese to me) have all been arsing around for two days trying to sort the mess out.

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