Day 99: The Russian Army and our Visa

We like Indian people. They help us find things.
 
Like Russian Consulates that are hidden behind bus stops filled with cows. It took 5 different people to help us find said Consulate. We had the address, but we still seemed confused enough for random women to stop and help us. Two of whom even led our cab there with their cars, and had to lean out the windows to explain that we were there because it was behind the bus stop. But behind the bus stop was an apartment building, and one more woman took one look at us and told us to go next door. We wonder how she knew what we were looking for.
 
But we were sure that the Russian Consulate would be better organized. Ha.
 
Ha ha.
 
We didn't have a hotel voucher. Or a "registration" for being in India. So he assured us that we could nto get a Russian visa. Anywhere. Ever.
 
We just kept asking confused questions until he agreed that we could get a transit visa if we were just going to be on a train the whole time. We nodded eagerly (assuming we coudl get around this later). He then gave us numerous forms to fill out that included questions such as "list the countries you have visited in the last 10 years" and then provided one line and "do you have any special training in biological warfare." We said no, but wondered if it woudl have been strategic to say yes.
 
We went back to the window. We were given more forms. When we were finally ready, he told us that we needed to know our point of arrival. This was an absurd question given that we do not know where trains go from mongolia to russia. But in the words of the Russian Consulate man "You have 14 minutes. Find it."
 
We looked for a cybercafe. Nothing. So Claire called her sister in Florida at 4 AM and told her to find the information. "Is this a test?" The sister asked.
 
A lot more absurd questions, one "travel itinerary" printed off an Expedia reservation, and an hour and few thousand rupees later, we had our visas.
 
Al;l in all we felt quite lucky. Especially since the entire consulate was plastered with pics of the Russian army apparently meant to intimidate.

5 comments:

Jubilant said...

Hey you two,

Thanks for lookin at our blog and for the comments.

Take Care,

Terry & Stefi
aka The Sweet Spinners

court said...

it was actually 3am, and let it be known that i had to get up at 5:30am to go to the airport.. but i was glad to help.. even though i'm still a bit confused and wonder if claire was just trying to punish me as she often does.. such as the time she put matches in my checked luggage "to prove a point," even though i was RIGHT.
lara, what's your hair situation right now? i mean on top of your head, but now that i mention this, did you get your arms waxed too?

bbop said...

So what is the point of entry from Mongolian to Russia, Court? Just curious.

Claire and Lara said...

Thanks Terry and the Sweet Spinners. We think what you are doing is awesome. Happened to link you at our other blog as well...(hatetohelp.blogspot.com)

Read up on this great project...

westward-ho-folks.blogspot.com

Claire and Lara said...

bbop: some intense name that had to be spelled 8 million times with court's retainer lisp

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