I've managed to finish that Marta's-name-in-my-foreign-passport business - I've handed in all the paperwork and it should be ready in a week. I hope.
I found my tax identification number, wrote it into the form and went to the same sberkassa as last time - because it's close to the passports office. The line there seemed to be made up of exactly the same people as on Tuesday - especially the old women, I swear I've seen all of them before.
Turns out I don't remember how lines work here anymore: you take your place at the very end and by the time you're supposed to reach the cashier's window, at least five more people pop up in front of you, in addition to a dozen or so who were there from the start. These extra people are not cutting in, no. They were either seated on the chairs by the window or had gone out to buy bread next door and returned just in time for their turn. I wasn't prepared for that. I didn't let one such returnee in in front of me - he would've been the sixth one or so and that would've been too much for me. (Then, they didn't process the poor guy's payment for the same reason I had to leave empty-handed on Tuesday: the stupid tax number.)
One more thing: at that particular sberkassa, the line seems to grow in all directions - some people walk in and stop right there, by the entrance, after asking who the last one is, while others move to the line's tail. Very confusing.
Anyway, I paid my 20-something hryvnias ($4), rushed to the passports place, was the third one in line there (great luck), finally entered the room and sat across the table from a fat woman in gray cop uniform. She looked at my handwritten letter and said it had to be printed.
I really wanted to be done with it quickly, so I decided not to try to find out if she could prove to me that that was the law and not her personal whim. "Do I have to pay the typist," I asked. "Oh, I've no idea," she no doubt lied in reply.
So I went to the typist at the other end of the hallway, having first secured a promise from the cop woman that I wouldn't have to wait in line again to get back in. The typist charged me 18 hryvnias ($3.60) for practically nothing - for typing a few lines on an elderly Soviet typewriter:
I filled out a payment form and pretended that the typist was indeed doing me a favor when she agreed to take the money to the sberkassa herself - of course, she'd put it into her pocket. I should've fought, I know, should've resisted basically bribing someone and also allowing them to rob me, but I really felt I couldn't afford it, with Marta waiting for me and all. A perfect example of why corruption is flourishing in Ukraine.
I rushed back to the cop woman with the printed letter - but she was not there, and then they kicked us all out because it was lunchtime, and I spent the next hour wandering around the neighborhood, feeling misanthropic and unpatriotic.
At 3 pm, I went back and handed the cop woman all the papers without any problems. She could've sent me home again, though, because the propiska stamp in my internal passport is outdated: we are not Starokyivsky district anymore, it no longer exists; we are Pechersky district, and the stamp should be restamped. A trifle that could've caused me some more pain in the ass.
I didn't feel like teasing them with my camera in there, so here're two pictures that I took with my cell phone. The first one is the typist, the second one is the general view of the place: