Adventures with INS–Romanian Style

In May, all of  my paperwork was submitted to the Ministry of Health in Bucharest to renew my residency permit.  The Ministry of Health is in the middle of…let’s just say “transition.”  And informed us, that they have not issued any visa renewals since November 2009.  I was told to wait and not worry; there would be no fines and no one would deport me.  But at the same time, they said don’t leave the country because I might not be able to get back in on an expired permit.  So I waited and didn’t worry. And didn’t make any plans to leave Romania..not that I want to leave.

Then, I received a phone call saying  that the police in Oradea are looking for me! My visa expired in June…3 weeks ago and they wanted to see me.  After some calls back and forth to Bucharest and Oradea, I had to go to Oradea.  Turns out, the police in Oradea are saying I don’t need the forms from Bucharest because of the “transition” there and Bucharest is saying that I shouldn’t be harassed by the police  or have to pay a fine.

So Tuesday morning, I got the call to go to Oradea and I needed to meet with the police  face to face Wednesday morning.  Tuesday night, I got on the night train to Oradea with a transfer in Cluj at 4 am.  I was able to get a sleeping compartment.  Turns out, sleeping on a train is like sleeping during an earthquake…pretty much useless, but at least I got to stretch out and get a bit of rest.  The connecting train was late, so I got into Oradea just before 10am.  After the all important coffee, Mihaela and I with 3-year-old Dena, started off to get my permit.  After pictures, the post office, a wire transfer  to the government accounts at the bank that had moved since last year, we got to the police.  The officer turned out to be lovely and had a 4-year-old little girl, so Dena being with us gave us a bonus. She did not make me pay the threatened fine, but said that I may have to pay for it when I come to pick up my card in August.

So I was able to catch the Wednesday night train back to Suceava. That’s 20+ hours on trains to stay in Oradea for less 6 hours!   unfortunately, there were no bed available for the return trip and I was stuck in a compartment with 4 others.  I arrived in Suceava at 4am and took a taxi home.  Being 4 am, the hot water was turned off in the building, so I just washed my face and went to bed.  What an adventure.

I will go back in August to pick up my card.  I plan of booking the sleeping compartment ahead of time…trust me!

4 Responses

  1. Were you as calm as your report sounds? You seem to be able to take so much of this in stride. Good for you! May the Lord continue to direct your path.

  2. Wow, that’s crazy! If it makes you feel any better, I have to pay a $15 dollar fine to the TN Dept. of Revenue because my last quarter taxes were late last year…because they didn’t send me my business tax info I signed up for Dec 8 until February, and only after I called (she said they were “behind” on new business registration.) It was due Jan 20! I appealed twice, but no luck because the code that states valid reasons for fee disputes doesn’t cover DOR stupidity, only taxpayer stupidity!

    So it happens here, too. LOL 😛

  3. What a long couple of days! I’m picturing you in the train compartment…quite close quarters and hopefully not too odiferous! I remember one time during the summer we opened the train windows due to extreme heat and stinkiness. A couple of people in our compartment let us know us they were concerned about catching colds due to the wind blowing on them. It was a bit awkward b/c Eric was so hot and just did not want to close the windows. Once they found out we were “Americania,” they relented and were quite pleasant. Despite all that, we really did love train travel!

    We’ve had two sets of old friends in our home this weekend…great catching up with them and having beach time/downtown ILM time with them. They really, really enjoyed COTC this morning…had their Bibles and were ready to learn! We were in Philippians 1:18 where Paul stated, “To live…Christ. To die…gain.” (paraphrased, but Devin did say that in the original text, there are no verbs…translators put in the “is” to make it more readable.) Anyway, he said for homework, we really needed to consider how we would fill out that sentence: To live is ____________.
    (family, work, missions, travel, evangelism, winning…most of these are “good” things, but they are ALL insufficient and could change at any moment.). We need to be able to fill in the blank like Paul did…To live is Christ!!!!! To die is gain!! (more Christ!!) So, there is your mini-sermon for today!! It was just so good I wanted to share. Love you, Melissa! Prayed for you today!

  4. I am so relieved that everything turned out alright. That is alot of traveling for sure. Get some rest and give thanks to the God who is sovereign over the nations and the hearts of man.

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