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07 Dec 2018

Take the dip.....

by Andrew:372369

Hello ladies and gents and thanks again for reading my blog. Sometimes it takes admin abit to get these up so let's see what happens with this one. This time in 2012 i was arriving in Washington D.C. for an interview at the Russian embassy here.in the USA. Because i am a former military service member i usually get a secondary interview from Russia. Of course by now most people know that the Ukraine is Visa free for Americans but Russia is not, nor is Belarus. I have been to all of these countries at some point since 2008. The interview is usually focused on what my job was in the military. Of course I can't talk about it alot to them or anyone but it's a great act to just act totally dumb to it all. It helps that my son is half Russian and my ex wife is Belarusian but i met her in the USA in 2001. She was on a work and travel visa then. That program is reserved for college age people that want to pay to come work and travel. Now more than ever though it's easy to change that visa by enrolling in school in the USA. So you now know about my marriage and my son Evan. He's now 14....and the most special gift God has ever awarded any man. Back to the Visa interview process in the Russian embassy. After some questions i am cleared to come pick up the Visa(and my passport) the next day. Don't ever forget to ask about your passport. That thing is your golden ticket to the world if you are from a western country. I had been to Russia once before and never bothered to check the real deal rules so this time i asked about them. The most important and least observed rule is that we MUST register our presence in every city we visit if the stay is gonna be 3 days or more. It's just some paperwork that you fill out at the local police Headquarters. In my case the people i was there to visit in Siberia helped me and honestly i think that the info on where i waw staying was more important to the police than my passport stuff. If you don't follow that 3 day rule there could be some real issues for you. Trust me....just register. It's free. It may also be a way to get some perks that help keep yo6 safe...things like who to bribe for a ride to and from the bank and who to bribe for a police escort from the airport or train station. You can actually get a police escort for a pretty small fee...$20 to $50. Every town you see with a 3 or more day stay you MUST do this in...even if your stay is gonna be a 4 or 5 day stay...do it. I actually saw a guy leaving Russia get stopped and fined when we were leaving at the airport. You don't want those to stack up especially if you visit military towns..they just don't like us roaming freely there. So yes, i have friends in Siberia. My brothers Alec and Kostya live in Novokuznetsk and i am just crazy enough to go to Siberia in December and January. My social media feed has a video of me taking a fast swim in the Kondoma river when it was -39c. Those guys dared me but honestly i would have done it any way. The people there were welcoming to me and some even treated me like a celebrity. Americans are known for being friendly and i was raised to be a gentleman. At the grocery store there were cheap security guards but none the less they were still there. I observed a Babushka struggling with her bags to get out of the doors. I ran up and held the door open for her. She looked at me with caution and walked past me slowly. Tue guard ran up and told me not to do that but i think he understood the universal sign of the middle finger. He was too dumb to realise he might make a tip or some extra cash by carrying those bags for her or holding the door open might just land him the hot blond or brunette in the check out line. Even with all the news about Russia and it's interference in the world i still suggest that you all see Siberia in winter. It's majestic and wild and yes...somewhat scary, but just enough to give you a thrill. The women were beautiful and affectionate. My brothers took great care of me and so did their families. I recommend knowing someone or really using a reputable company to set up your travel. This site can even help you with that, or men, write to admin and i will gladly help. Just ask for my info and i am sure they will get us connected. I have plenty of time in Russia and the Ukraine. Men, don't forget there is a little stamp that your tour company or friend will have to get from a hotel you stay at or have your friend help get you one on your travel itinerary. That needs to be given to the company that handles visa services for Russia in Washington D.C. It's actually pretty fast even with a secondary interview like mine. The stamp is from a registered company or hotel within Russia. It used to be easy to pay someone online, on PayPal(be careful and always pay that way before you enter Russia) that was making money on the side to do this for you. You just send them the travel plans and they stamp it. WITHOUT THIS YOU ARE STUCK. Of course if you use a tour guide they will know this but if you are like me you will want to travel on the path less traveled and adventure some. In short and to close this blog today. #1 Print an itinerary and don't forget a hotel or resort guide stamp. You can't go any further without this. That applies to every country that is western and civilised. Russia will want that stamp. #2. Register in every town you visit if your stay will be 3 days or more. It may be good to offer the police captain or chief there a small cash gift or if you can get some American booze, i always take a few extra bottles with me to bribe someone that is an official. Trust me...you will need their help at least once. #3. Don't forget your manners there. While we are welcome there some of the men will know you are there to take a Russian woman and will not like it. Avoid fights and try to build a network of friends before you get there. Look online for a translator that you can ''relate" to and trust. They will be that support system before you arrive and WILL save your @$$ when something pops up there. Have fun men and keep your money in a safe place. In my next blog post if you have some interest i will gladly give you a true story on why you should ALWAYS buy the travel insurance. Hint...it may save your life one day. I will also post some helpful stuff on emergencies and how to prepare. Again these are my true experiences and they will 100% be super helpful. Good day to you all and i look forward to your feedback. Thx thx Andy