Erica scared of the police
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Got up quite early and enquired about the implications of losing my immigration card, the responses ranged from jail to bribery!!! Oh god we are only three days in and I might be sent to jail if a policeman asks to see my documents in the street and I cant produce them!!! This does not bode well. Arrange to go to the immigration centre with someone from the hostel tomorrow to hopefully sort it out, but that still leaves today. Bite the bullet and decide its do or die and head to the Kremlin adopting the head down no eye contact approach whenever we see police, which is quite a lot. See everything in Red Square, the unknown soldiers tomb, Lenin's mausoleum, the beautiful cathedral which we pay to go in. Then decide on a tour of the underground which is absolutely magnificent, much better than St Petersburg, stop off at about 10 stops, really grand with some of the largest chandeliers in the world, but cant get to some of the super modern ones shame. We read that there are dogs down there, no not with the heads of stoats, but that have learned to navigate the underground and actually wait for their train and get on. Wow!
Headed back to the hostel and grabbed dinner on the way, tonight's treat is a bowl of freeze dried flavored mash potato, dried noodles, orange juice (health haha), and 4 cans of beer. Approx 4 pounds sterling.
How times change! The last meal at home I had of Beer Battered Prawns, Steak and chips followed by Eton Mess seems such a distant memory, bring on Asia when we can eat like kings!!!!!
More glory, we have now lost all the photos taken so far. In an attempt to add some to the bog I think the computer has corrupted the memory card. Smash! oh well.
Erica also neglected to mention the fact we did a runner from a crazy old Russian in the rail station who wouldnt stop shouting "which station do you go" I stepped back and he kept walking into me. Made Erica run down an escalator however she thought he was genuinly trying to help us. Is this the Stephenson Paranoia we love so much. Better safe than sorry thats my motto.
Also outside Red Square was a rather bizarre stand with monkeys dressed as humans on leads, then some massive birds of pray looking at them. All felt bizarrely cruel and simply very odd. Then again Russia is not exactly what we are used to.
Drinking our 2 cans of Baltika 3 each on the couch after a glorious dinner of smash mixed with cat food (or thats what it loks and tastes like) 5 German people came into the common room (4 boys and 1 girl) and started a talking about making a special movie. The girl agreed but only if she could have some vodka first and could they really do it in a hostel. I suggested to Eggsy that they were going to make a porn film, she was shocked when they reappeared in the common room and said "ok we make movie here lets get ready". We were the only other people in there and eggsy nearly wet the couch laughing. The camera started rolling with us sat creased up in hysterics as the guy leaned back and put his hands behind his head we did not know what to expect then he burst out with "60 years ago my Grandfather came to Russia with the Nazis however I come in peace". They created a serious documentary and then scrolled around the room to see two English morons literally in tears unable to stop laughing. Very Surreal but very very funny.
It is refreshing to know that everybody we have met have said Russia is the hardest country to travel in, this includes the South African last night who has been travelling through Albania and other bizzare places who confirmed everything is simply very hard for a traveller here, Icy Pavements, Still huge chunk of snow and ice dropping from buildings, no common language, very few people speak English and we travellers cant speak Russian, we cant understand the Moscow Undergound still, its expensive so we survive on the absolute basic rations, but Vodka is cheap and gets you through, we get lost everytime we go out as we cant read the street signs and we are constantly worried about our meeting with the police and having to give our bribes to a guy that we can not communicate with us but makes it clear he will smash our faces in. Erica wants out and you know what we are leaving tomorrow by train and hopefully 4 days later passing through immigration into Mongolia without hassle.Here is our thread from a russian forum and the advise we have been given,
"Originally Posted by snowbars
As no can stop you leaving country...worst scenario is that you might be charged penalty.....
But you can ! Worst case scenario - they ship you back to Moscow, where
you will be forced to get that little slip of paper, and then hopefully
exit before your visa expires !
Best bet, since you will be sitting on that Mongolian border for hours,
will be just to say nothing, and if there is a problem, ask to speak to
them out of sight (of the other passengers), or to prepare an envelope
with your explanation of what happened and some $$$$ inside and just
hand this to them.
Keep us posted"