Returning from the gas company again today – if you remember last week they said the documents would be completed for us this Tuesday.  We called ahead and found out the documents were actually not ready, and the worker in charge suggested Friday as a new date.  We’ve been through this enough to know what was going on.

We decided to go anyway and talk to the head chief.   Fortunately he was in, and seemed frustrated that the documents were in fact not ready.  He called down the worker, and harshly rebuked him in front of us all.   I’m not sure how much of of this was for show, but it seemed to get his attention.  The chief said the documents must not only be one tomorrow, but delivered to us.  The chief then apologized for the delay and we went on our way.

On our way.. next door to the regional Fire Department Chief.  Last week the chief inspector dropped by the Cafe and issued a series of warnings/threats concerning our property.  He said we hadn’t ascertained the fire inspection documents yet, which is true.  We have been waiting to get gas and heat, and knew this was next on our list.  He didn’t seam to care that the Cafe is not yet open, and said we were in trouble.

To make a very long process readable, here’s what has to happen –

  • Thurs/Friday this week the fire chief comes to Cafe to ‘inspect.’
  • He is also bringing with him a fine (we have no idea how much) for not as of yet having our permit.. even though we are not open.
  • He will present us a list of items we must address to pass inspection.
  • We then call one of his buddies to come and officially install the alarm system, address all noted items, as well as provide a certificate of some kind.  This will cost us about $2,000.
  • We then invite the chief back, within 30 days to inspect again, or we get another fine (even if we’re still not open).
  • After the system is installed and we are legal, we still have to pay $80/mo (or so) for the ‘servicing’ of the fire alarm.  Nobody in our town does this, they all pay a side ‘gift’ to keep the fireman away, however we are not going to let this happen.  The only money exchanging hands after we open will be them paying for pizza.

The chief then directed me to his car, where in his trunk he pulled out 4 fire extinguishers and offered to sell them to us at a reasonable price.  I figured it would be wise to do what he says at this point, at least if he finds a problem with them during inspection I can tell him they were his!  It wouldn’t surprise me if they were the wrong kind, and we get fined for this.  We’ll hope for the best!

We are now arranging for the Gas ‘course’ details.  It’s insane how much legwork is involved just to find the information on the law let alone try and be legal.  The gas company for example says we must complete this course to have gas legally for our business, but refuses to tell us how to get in touch with this government department – it’s more of a ‘good luck you need this document’ and the search begins.   Government offices rarely have anything online that is helpful, and just as rare if they answer the phones – so easier to spend a day hunting people down in another city, just to get information.

Beautiful spring-like day out today.   Afternoon spent reviewing Russian grammar with Dema.  I am thankful for his patience.

Today we saw 5 jets fly overhead (at my house), heading directly south.  We rarely see more than one plane in the sky.  Surely they were part of something in Crimea – that lingers in all of our minds at the present time and gives perspective to the many trivial frustrations with this Cafe effort.

Thankful to be safe, warm, and healthy.

Bruce & Deb

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