Back Home in Russia and a Cup of Coffee…

Everything went well and it was very smooth from picking up visa to crossing the border back to Russia. I am sipping that cup of wonderful coffee this morning and enjoying the terrific flavor of some Vietnamese coffee! Did you know that Vietnam is one of the world leaders in coffee? I did not and have now found that their coffee is very high quality and priced right…

So I am going to enjoy my coffee and do some thinking’s about my recent trip to Ukraine. I need to write an article on getting a visa for an American, outside of American borders and I need to talk about a few things going on in Kiev, Ukraine. That will all be this week at some point…

Today I will talk about my train trip back from Kiev to Moscow…

Started Monday after I checked out of the flat I stayed in and it was raining “Cats N Dogs”, as my grandma would have said. My sweety (Sveta) insisted that I get an umbrella, as she had heard that it was going to rain and rain and rain some more my last day in Kiev…

I finally gave in and bought an umbrella, you see I am a guy from America and umbrellas are for wussies and I can not be a wussy, you know? 🙂

But in this side of the world, umbrellas are like plastic bags. Everyone has one and everyone uses one, guy or gal. Just like guys carry a bag for papers and such. Wallets are so not in, in these countries…

It is a good thing that Sveta hounded me to get an umbrella, it rained so hard that you could not see two feet in front of your face for hours. While I still got wet, I was very dry compared to what I would have been without an umbrella and without is my normal travel mode…

I learned at this late stage of life to use an umbrella and use it good…

So once I navigated to the bus and then the metro and then the Russian consulate in Kiev. I then waited for two hours to get my passport back, so that I could get to the train station to wait another two hours to leave Kiev…

To top it all off, the train was very late and this grouchy American was sure he would miss his train and have to stay another, who knows how long until, he could get another ticket to Moscow. Finally I got on my train along with a whole bunch of grouchy Russians, because the train terminal neglected to tell us what was going on. You know; it is only a train to Moscow right?

So now since this was a long distance train that started elsewhere in Ukraine, it meant that most of the train was full when we got on…

A babushka and I had lower seats in our room and we found two drunken bums in our spots. So as per normal for a long distant train, we had to fight for our seats that were ours and paid for per ticket. Finally after being told “No! we won’t move! We sleeping!” I in my pissed off American cussing voice, rattled off a few nice American things to say and they went into shock as they realized that I was not an introvert Russian but an introvert American with a bad attitude when pressed the wrong way…

To say the least the Babushka and I got our proper seats and two drunks lay in the top bunks, passed out after finishing a huge bottle of vodka. They expressed a certain dissatisfaction for the English person in the car and why he had to show up! Then with pure luck, the drunks got off the train all of a sudden and after two more stops the conductor was looking for them and I told him that they left long time ago. He had a weird look on his face, of surprise and then I realized that our Ukraine border was next and I think some shenanigans happened…

After that we were alone and peace and quiet resulted, the rest of the trip. No drunks and a very nice, calm, peaceful and sweet babushka, was all I had to deal with, or all she had to deal with was me, I should say…

It was almost like a first class car…

When we got to the Russian border, I saw a Chihuahua run down the hallway of the train car. Now I see dogs all the time to sniff for drugs and explosives, but never a tiny Chihuahua!

But alas it was not to be the tiniest drug/explosive dog in the world, as I saw momma run after the little escapee and drag him back protesting to his prison the train car room… 🙂

The Ukraine border goes fast for me, as they just look at me to see if I am who the passport says I am and 80% of the time now they recognize me, as I come and go by train so often, stamp my passport and I go back to bed…

This time though on the Russia border, I had a trainee and she got grouchy, because she did not like me using “Block Latin Letters” to fill out the migration card for crossing the border. I was just about to show her on the migration card, where it says that I can do that and in steps her trainer and he shows her what she has not been told about Americans crossing the border. She got to learn how to deal with that grouchy American, who fills out the migration card in English. Oh by the way, The Russians now have passport scanners to scan the chip embedded in your passport. It does make it much quicker and easier. No longer do they have this huge book or two to look up your name in, to see if you are a bad guy…

Now that the border crossing was all over, it was time to sleep and babushka and I slept. It was nice…

Then at around 6am babushka got up and the next thing I know, she has the table covered with bread, cheese, butter, tomatoes and other goodies. I am presented with a huge meal and in Russia or Ukraine, you never turn down a meal. It is the most important thing, especially when a babushka prepares it for you. So we sat at 6am and watched the world go by, as we ate a wonderful breakfast…

Time flew and before I knew it we were in Moscow. Sveta was waiting for me and at around 9am we got to the station. Sveta had another breakfast for me and I relished that one as much as the early one. Sveta is such a sweet heart and she picked up McDonald’s sausage muffins and coffee. We sat in the train station in Moscow and enjoyed our breakfast and then headed home…

It was so good to be home and Sveta is truly my sweety. I then collapsed as soon as I got home and slept all day trying to recover from the trip. I hate having heart troubles at time…

It is so good to be home to Russia…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

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