Trying to get my new travel passport is an ordeal that's been going on since March. I'm glad I need this passport only for our relatively visa-free travels to Turkey, that the Ukrainian state's torture isn't compounded by more torture at the hands of "Western" consulates.
Our bureaucrats work in a very schizophrenic way, the rules differ from one location to another, and everyone seems to take it for granted. There is one office where it takes weeks just to submit your paperwork, a true slaughterhouse, but there's also another one nearby where there are no lines and it takes about 20 minutes to get everything done. If only the first place had bothered to post more info about the second place in their lobby - because they are definitely getting more people than their colleagues at the other place. And, to make it all even more complex, I know someone who didn't have any problems at the first place and was surprised to hear my horror stories - but I ascribe it to some sort of random luck.
My most recent problems have to do with our local registration person, who seems to have forgotten to enter me into some citywide database when I got my new internal passport. Or perhaps that was an act of revenge - I'd never brought her any chocolates to thank her for doing her job (an explanation offered by a savvy neighbor).
After running around for half the day today, I've finally understood why I'm against making Russian a second state language: everything works terribly here anyway, and it's easier to teach a few million state employees to fill out forms in Ukrainian, rather than burdening our already messed-up system with more regulations and forms that the change would sure require.
On a different but somewhat related note, my today's cab driver was from Iran, has lived in Ukraine for the past six years, spoke very decent Russian, and when I mentioned the wonderful Persian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who died at the age of 32, he mentioned Lesya Ukrainka - who didn't live too long, either - and his admiration for her. I was very, very pleased, because I adore Lesya, and it didn't matter to me at all that our conversation about her was in Russian.