Travel in Russia: Are you a Spy? and Other Thoughts… (Part 1)

This last trip to the village is and example of what makes Russia so wonderful. So while I sip that cup of coffee and do some thinking’s I will jot down the main experiences…

Sveta and I have learned that you have to think outside of the box to get anywhere in Russia. You can’t leave at the same time as everyone else and get anywhere faster than a snails pace. You can’t even leave at a time that you think it would be safe to leave. In fact you have to leave when sleep is the only issue that reins in your head. So we left in the deep dark middle of the night…

It still took hours to get out of Moscow. Moscow is just plain huge and it takes a long time to traverse across the city, why the MKAD (Outer ring road around Moscow.) is  a 100 kilometers around and they are working on a ring road that is much longer. This all prelates that you have to have lots of preparation to go anywhere from Moscow…

Don-KnottsWe finally entered the dark void that surrounds Moscow, called Moscow Oblast and with that we are out of Oz and on our way to the village. That takes about 2 hours even on a good day or night. All was quiet and calm until we hit Ryazan and day light peaked its head up in the horizon. Ryazan is a huge city and has Barney Fifes all over the place. Mayberry RFD would be proud and Andy would be plum crazy…

We get pulled over and since all of our paperwork was in perfect shape. They decided that my American license was all wrong. Now that last time they had seen an American license was mine and that was 4 years ago. But they decided that I might not be an American!

As the little guy with an AK-47 was looking at me, he said, “He looks like a Russia to me!”

They kept trying to test my Russian speaking ability and like I have said before, “It is best to act stupid and do not try to argue.” I leave that part to my Russian woman and I stand there and act dumb. That is really easy for me to do… 🙂

Their life was being ruined one piece of paperwork at a time. Insurance – Yup! Registration – Yup! Any and all documents – Yup! Even the American passport – Yup!

They tried to find anything and everything wrong. Nope! Nothing wrong…

But! They called the FSB (KGB) and finally in comes a Captain in the FSB (Federal Security Service). They actually woke him up from his sleep (remember it is early morning) and he then looked over my paperwork to see if I was a spy…

He looked at each piece of paperwork and handed them all back to me and I put them away and from the look on the Captains face, I could tell that some policemen were going to get an ass chewing later that day. I turned to leave and the “Barney Fife” with the AK-47 was grinning from ear to ear. I could tell he liked the fact that his superiors were going to get chewed out. I also wondered if “Barney” had real bullets in that AK-47. I was hoping that he had only one bullet in his pocket, just like the real Barney…

So we jumped back into the Volga and tooled on down the road. I then was doing some thinking’s about that they really thought I was a Russian, with an American passport. That was interesting, for the realization of what they said sunk in after I was able to relax. – “He looks like a Russia to me!”

Normally I would take that as a compliment, but in this case it got me in a pickle and these guys had to call the higher ups to clear me. I found that interesting and it is the first time that I have really dealt with this situation. Needless to say we took a different rout home, to alleviate the memory issues of these cops…

Then we were once again putting the kilometers behind us as we watched the countryside of Russia flow by. I saw hundreds of John Deere tractors and the John Deere technical center (I talked here about it!) was getting huge and it is going to be John Deere Russia before long. In fact John Deere, like McDonald’s is becoming a Russian name…

It was at this point that I realized that there was factories and warehouses going up everywhere. Every big name company was building a warehouse and villages and cities were growing, all along the highway that we traveled…

End of Part 1 and tomorrow Part 2

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given...

A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?

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