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Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Moderators: DeaconStreet, nickomsk, Chris, TonyH

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ekid
Posted 2009-12-01 10:32 PM (#28901)
Subject: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

US passport-in possession of VisaHQ at DC. They've done good at getting my Russian visa, now getting China visa.
I am going overland to Toshkent; I need double entry Kazakh to get there and back out. Visa HQ says I need double entry for that, and Letter Of Invitation for double entry. I have no idea where to ask. They say rail Co. can do it.
Can RealRussia? surely not? (I didn't ask)

I'm not even getting off train in Kazakhstan

DeaconStreet
Posted 2009-12-01 10:43 PM (#28904 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 1213
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you answered your own question and that is why you're posting?

RR are the best... we (T & Me) have had the 100% record with RR and so have the guys here.
ekid
Posted 2009-12-01 11:03 PM (#28906 - in reply to #28904)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

incredible fast response!
No, how could it be that I'd ask a russian business, RR or not, for a Kazakh LOI?
And other posts in "stans" forum seem to indicate even visa may not be necessary if I go thru fast enough, don't get off the train?

Maybe that one guy was just lucky? I am very confused here.
Chris
Posted 2009-12-02 7:59 AM (#28910 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
20001000100100100
Location: Volgograd & Moscow
Hi and welcome

It is a slightly wierd situation due to the nature of the USSR carve up in the 90's and various agreements.

If you are entering Kazakhstan once and leaving once you only need a single entry visa, even if the train you are on cuts through the border several times, see this previous post ...

http://www.realrussia.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=734

If you enter Kazakhstan and leave Kazakhstan twice then you need a double entry visa. So I assume (it is not clear) you will enter Kazakhstan on the way to China and then again on the way back to Europe?

With regards to the visa support documents for double or multiple entry visas, should you need them this is not a problem and we can get them to you within 5 days.

If you could clarify your route, trains and dates it would be easier?

Are you using our travel team to organise the tickets?

On a final note - under no curcumstances atempt to enter Kazakhstan without a visa - you will get thrown off the train and be stuck at the border post between Russia and Kazakhstan - no fun!

Hope this helps.

Chris
ekid
Posted 2009-12-02 7:44 PM (#28942 - in reply to #28910)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

Yes, thank you, Sir Chris-I had seen and read chorley boy (#4030) previously-possibly not with understanding. My geography is weak in this area, and maps are hard to impossible to come by.

"If you enter Kazakhstan and leave Kazakhstan twice then you need a double entry visa. So I assume (it is not clear) you will enter Kazakhstan on the way to China and then again on the way back to Europe?"

Definitely not. In order to get to Toshkent from Russia overland , I HAVE to enter Kazakhstan, then Uzbekistan. That's once. I had intended to buy ticket at counter, possibly in Kiev, but have found no train available. (thats just one more problem in a long list)

Someone at TA suggested I board the firmeny train from Moscow at Saratov. And then on to Toshkent. This is my tentative plan. (just step to the counter and pay with cash. It seems so simple and easy!) (local cash!?) No train numbers, no (exact) dates, as I will fly into (present plan, Praha) and jump on first train going east. Will hit Lvov and Kiev, but who knows when. Sometime in January, 2010.

There would be no getting off the train in Kazakh on way to Uzbek, but getting OUT of Uzbekistan necessitates going thru Kazakhstan again. That's twice! On the way to Urumqi in China, then Beijing, Shanghai, Hong kong, and fly home to Chicago. Getting to Urumqi looks like a change of train is likely.

"If you could clarify your route, trains and dates it would be easier? "

I know I am muddled; ask me more if confused. I could still change everything about this trip-except the Russian visa is granted, and Chinese is in process. (Due to be returned December 4) I am a farmer, I get scared and confused in big cities like Moscow.

"Are you using our travel team to organise the tickets?"

I very well may. Someone on the "planes, trains, and transportation" forum suggested it. But you guys are in Britain! That is going to make extra problems, right?

I have read Edward Hasbrouk "Practical Nomad" twice recently from cover to cover, and "knew" I needed 4 visa for this trip, and one (1) LOI. Uzbek. So my head is in a vise. I was ready to accuse (visaHQ.com) of padding the bill-adding unnecessary purchases.



DeaconStreet
Posted 2009-12-02 8:04 PM (#28944 - in reply to #28942)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


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ekid - 2009-12-02 7:44 PM

But you guys are in Britain! That is going to make extra problems, right?



more likely of success as a result methinks?

Big Adventure, I envy you because of that and good luck. Unfortunately Charley Boorman isnt a member here anymore.

dont throw your money away. get in direct contact with the travel team at RR
Chris
Posted 2009-12-03 7:20 AM (#28961 - in reply to #28942)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
20001000100100100
Location: Volgograd & Moscow

Hi, OK - so with the visa you use one to enter Uzbekistan and the second entry to leave towards China - OK, sounds reasonable - if you need some help with the letter of invitation for Kazakhstan let us know.

 

As to buying as you go - I'm not going to advise as I would be accused of bias (but good luck with that )

 

With regards to Moscow to Toshkent, firmini train 6 - it does not stop at Saratov (there is a train 334 which leaves every Friday which does, not firmini and only 2nd or 3rd class) - the Russian stations train 6 transits through are:

 

Moscow 2009-12-04 at 23:25 0
Ryazan 2009-12-05 at 02:28 12 minutes 197 km
Shilovo 2009-12-05 at 04:09 3 minutes 299 km
Sasovo 2009-12-05 at 05:17 3 minutes 372 km
Potma 2009-12-05 at 06:27 25 minutes 448 km
Saransk 2009-12-05 at 09:01 24 minutes 601 km
Inza 2009-12-05 at 11:11 2 minutes 712 km
Syzran 2009-12-05 at 13:55 10 minutes 908 km
Zvezda 2009-12-05 at 15:57 15 minutes 993 km
Chapayevsk 2009-12-05 at 16:08 2 minutes 1001 km
Samara 2009-12-05 at 16:58 46 minutes 1044 km
Kinel 2009-12-05 at 18:31 5 minutes 1085 km
Bogatoe 2009-12-05 at 19:40 1 minutes 1136 km
Buzuluk 2009-12-05 at 21:05 21 minutes 1216 km
Totskaya 2009-12-05 at 22:26 1 minutes 1266 km
Sorochinskaya 2009-12-05 at 22:55 2 minutes 1293 km
Novosergievskaya 2009-12-05 at 23:44 1 minutes 1345 km
Orenburg 2009-12-06 at 01:51 39 minutes 1462 km

Another quick check showed a train going every Saturday from Volgograd to Tashkent, train 383A, it is not firmini but just an option.

 

I got this from our train engine which is connected directly to the Russian and other regional railway databases:

 

https://www.realrussia.co.uk/main_train_screen.asp

 

However, for such a journey I would suggest you contact our travel team on travel@realrussia.co.uk - also, for your information our travel team are based in Russia and we work with clients all over the world, including USA.

 

Good luck!

 

Chris

 

ekid
Posted 2009-12-03 4:32 PM (#28973 - in reply to #28961)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

"(but good luck with that )"
Over at TA they have been scaring me almost into a FBLP ( Full-Bore Linear Panic ) about this. Lengthy lines, right? Surely I can handle that? No english? I have (almost) obtained a bi-lingual map; just hold it up to clerk and point. Round trip, or one way? Semaphore with arms worked in small town Hungary. Holding folding money, even if it isn't green, works in any language? Thumb up (one) passenger. Today (soonest train)? I haven't an answer for that yet!

I guess Intourist agency is no more. But perhaps their high prices have been eliminated too? I AM a member of couchsurfers, and have indicated a possible need for help in possible way-point cities. I have gotten an enthusiastic response everywhere but Urumqi, where I think the internet is suspended.

I just cannot see how I can predict where I'll be on a certain date to catch a train-or plane home, for that matter. In Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switz, and France in 2006, it worked fine. I got off train whenever, where-ever it got dark or I saw something I wanted to stop for. No money was wasted, I got credit for unused portion of ticket. Full fare, not qualified for discounts. I realize this is not going to work in eastern europe and on.

"I just cannot see how I can predict where I'll be on a certain date to catch a train" That's not how I roll. I hate fixed itineraries. So, it seems I cannot buy tickets in advance. If I can't buy tickets on the spot, I reckon I am in "deep doo-doo". And it DOES scare me. Bus station agents (ticket clerks) here in US are among the foulest people on the face of the earth. Too much of that would ruin a good trip.

"if you need some help with the letter of invitation for Kazakhstan let us know."

Yes, enthusiastic yes. And Uzbek too. I will attempt to send an e-mail with info today, December 3. My E-mail:
(eikd1@yahoo.com)
Do not overestimate my skill with computers. I range somewhere between incompetant and illiterate.
ekid
Posted 2009-12-03 4:46 PM (#28974 - in reply to #28944)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

"more likely of success as a result methinks? "
I take your point, Deacon!
"dont throw your money away. get in direct contact with the travel team at RR "
Would like to hear more about that-please?
Chris
Posted 2009-12-03 6:23 PM (#28978 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
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Location: Volgograd & Moscow
Look, you will need to have a general plan, from above you can see that these are not daily trains and arrive a few hours late and you will have to wait days for the next one. If you are OK with that and will chalk it down to the experience then fine.

As to arm waving and pointing, that might work in some places and make a good after dinner story but this is not the sort of place you want to attract that sort of attention to yourself, the best you could expect is to be ignored (which would be a result). Not a scare story just a simple observation - just imagine how most "red necks" would view some "dumb Arab" stood in a ticket office in Texas shouting in Arabic while waving his arms about? Amused? Not likely.

I suggest the least get some key phrases translated and written down or a simple Russian phrase book would help your whole experience and make things easier on you.

One other thing to bear in mind, is that many regional long distance trains sell out in advance of the departure date, so there is no guarantee that even if you arrive in time there will be tickets.

So, to repeat; a little research, planning and preparation will help you dropping yourself into the "deep doo-doo".
Mel
Posted 2009-12-03 6:28 PM (#28981 - in reply to #28974)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


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Posts: 4793
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Location: In the Windmills of my mind...

ekid - 2009-12-03 9:46 PM "more likely of success as a result methinks? " I take your point, Deacon! "dont throw your money away. get in direct contact with the travel team at RR " Would like to hear more about that-please?

Hey ekid, time to listen to the experts.....

For Russia you need a plan and a timetable, and stick to it.....

Trains are more than often very full, there is little or no chance to just drop into a station and get the next ride out of town, it just doesn't work like that in Russia......Sorry>.>

DeaconStreet
Posted 2009-12-03 8:36 PM (#28987 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


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Posts: 1213
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ekid, good day.

I think that you've just heard from some of the experts on this site (not including me!!) these guys are English and based in Russia. To re-iterate, RR is a fantastic company based both in the UK and in Russia, with multi-lingual experts at both. Tomorrow is the 4th December and you'll have been posting for 3 days, pontificating whether to call the Travel Team at RR or not! Not sure if pontificating translates into the good old US of A? I dont get any $/cent kick back for being here or for replying to you...

I have some Russian and the thought of making a ticket from Pyatigorsk to Rostov-on-Don fills me with dread.. But Tania is telling me that I'm going to make this for Us in the Spring.. ok , I'll do this!

If you'd like to do your proposed journey completely freelance with a "Go As You Please" Voucher... then I suspect that you should contact Yamaha, American Express and the US petroleum company of your choice!

Chris has been very obliging, sharing a wealth of info for free and Mel has finally said "time to listen to the experts"...

maybe you will succeed... and later.. you'll have some great tales to tell and share with friends...
ekid
Posted 2009-12-03 11:23 PM (#28989 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

"Trains are more than often very full, there is little or no chance to just drop into a station and get the next ride out of town, it just doesn't work like that in Russia......Sorry>.>"

Even in the depth of winter, eh? I picked this time so there would be NO TOURISTS! But maybe the Russians are heading to the "Russian Riviera"- the Black Sea. Kinda like we go to Florida-the roads get choked. ( we see some Brits there too!

"been posting for 3 days" (embarrassed grin)

I have been littering the whole internet for-I kid you not-since sometime in October. Do you folks know the CouchSurfers? They have been great to offer homestays and assistance from A to Z. I don't think I could get lost if I can find a -what do you call it?-cybercafe. But many are quite young and I doubt they have actual experience traveling.

So-apart from getting the "travel team" -which it appears I've talked to twice without quite knowing- you'all would think to send me to Moscow to get the #006 firmI?ny train 'cause it can't really be boarded reliably elsewhere?
Mel
Posted 2009-12-04 4:22 AM (#28990 - in reply to #28989)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 4793
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Location: In the Windmills of my mind...

 

ekid

I am not yet an expert on anything, I am still in the land of the living.......

Chris is the expert here on travel etc.... So take careful stock of his words is the best advice anyone can give you

I do not work for RR, and yes I live in Russia....And I do not personally know or live anywhere near to any of their employees....

The trains are the major transport system for the majority of Russian people, and they get well used....BY RUSSIANS, we get very few tourists to Russia in relation to other countries, especially into the outback lands.. mainly because of ignorant people believing still that Russia is the enemy. (in my opinion only)....WOW what they are missing out on...

I am not saying that you will NOT get a seat on a train when you need one, I am saying that the chances are that the train will already be fully booked out, AND if you speak NO Russian, your job of getting a ticket for a certain train and direction may just get you ending back up where you started...

Poeple on here responding to your questions are only trying to help you achieve your travel plans, but like anything else in this world, if you do not have a good plan your holiday may go very wrong and nobody wants that, not even for an unknown cyber collegue on this site...........

Unfortunately/Fortunately Russia is an entity to itself, and I re-iterate what was said on here in earlier posts, the best way, IN MY HONEST OPINION, to enjoy the delights of this beautiful country is to plan your trip, WHERE- WHEN- WHICH-  HOW. etc.etc.......

Anyway, whatever you do, I wish you a happy experience, its well worth it..........

If you come by my house on your travels, just pop in, you would be welcome......



Edited by Mel 2009-12-04 4:27 AM
Chris
Posted 2009-12-04 6:57 AM (#28992 - in reply to #28989)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
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Location: Volgograd & Moscow

So-apart from getting the "travel team" -which it appears I've talked to twice without quite knowing- you'all would think to send me to Moscow to get the #006 firmI?ny train 'cause it can't really be boarded reliably elsewhere?

 

Not really, I gave you a couple of options, not starting in Moscow, including one from Volgograd (where I am), why not come here and pop in - it is a fantastic place with very few (almost none) tourists, your welcome here are well. And no, I'm not part of the travel team, they should be able to give you much more help and advice.

 

As to travel in winter and fuull trains, yes all year, nothing to do with tourists or foriegners, simply practicalities - in the winter the roads become hazardous (so makes buses not so good) and the general weather tends to close down the airports - fog, snow etc. Combine this with only one train a week going somewhere and yes, they do fill up ...

 

As to Couchsurfers, sounds a good idea in practice ... let us know how you get on with that.

 

ekid
Posted 2009-12-04 4:28 PM (#28998 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

Volgograd, eh? Is Anastasia in your office? I first spoke to her November 14, and several later. I 'bout exploded with surprise when she said she was in Volgograd. Say "hi" to her from me. I don't think she knows me as "ekid"

I found "Russia-Visa.com" on the RealRussia website, it has a "button" for US passport holders. (My original visa service refused to try for 30 day.) So I kinda assumed it was a sister company. (Russia-Visa, that is.) When the visa came thru granted, they handed it off to "VisaHQ" IN THE EXACT SAME OFFICE. (for China) I just found the Kazakh button on RealRussia website. maybe I'm in business.

" Not sure if pontificating translates into the good old US of A?"

It does-but only among the cognoscente (i)?! By-the-way, I think you used it wrong. A pontiff would "preach" without expecting to be interupted or contradicted. I may pose a plan of action-(set up a straw man)- but I expect you folks to knock it to pieces. I propose, you dispose.

I have an e-mail from a native of Chicago who married Ukrainian and lives in Uzhgorod. They are 50 or so, and speak at least four languages. If I can make it to there on my own steam, I will know how difficult this is, get a taste of it. And they will help get to-perhaps Volgograd.

Mel, Deacon, Chris, thank you all VERY much!!



DeaconStreet
Posted 2009-12-04 4:59 PM (#28999 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 1213
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also, to express opinions or judgments in a dogmatic way and slightly tongue-in-cheek of me, but it seems that the US of A does pontificate after all... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbDaIeE3HHI .. recycling in the Ukraine is quite a shock the first time that you see it.. not conveyor belts, but bent-over Baboushka's with bags.

ekid
Posted 2009-12-07 5:26 PM (#29062 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

Ah-as regards Volgograd towards Uzbekistan-would that train route go over a very un-scenic "Caspian depression"? Seems I read about it years ago in "CAR and Driver". If it is like the salt flats west of Salt Lake City, Utah, to Wendover Nevada, there's no interest.

My interest is agriculturally related farmland even if it is only grassy steppes, goats & sheep.
Mel
Posted 2009-12-07 6:00 PM (#29064 - in reply to #29062)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 4793
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Location: In the Windmills of my mind...

ekid - 2009-12-07 10:26 PMAh-as regards Volgograd towards Uzbekistan-would that train route go over a very un-scenic "Caspian depression"? Seems I read about it years ago in "CAR and Driver". If it is like the salt flats west of Salt Lake City, Utah, to Wendover Nevada, there's no interest.My interest is agriculturally related farmland even if it is only grassy steppes, goats & sheep.

A good map...

http://findlatitudeandlongitude.com/?loc=caspian+depression

Goats and sheep all indoors keeping their "Rocky Mountain Oysters" warm in jan/feb....



Edited by Mel 2009-12-07 6:30 PM
DeaconStreet
Posted 2009-12-07 7:16 PM (#29065 - in reply to #29064)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 1213
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Mel - 2009-12-07 6:00 PM

ekid - 2009-12-07 10:26 PMAh-as regards Volgograd towards Uzbekistan-would that train route go over a very un-scenic "Caspian depression"? Seems I read about it years ago in "CAR and Driver". If it is like the salt flats west of Salt Lake City, Utah, to Wendover Nevada, there's no interest.My interest is agriculturally related farmland even if it is only grassy steppes, goats & sheep.

A good map...

http://findlatitudeandlongitude.com/?loc=caspian+depression

Goats and sheep all indoors keeping their "Rocky Mountain Oysters" warm in jan/feb....



"Rocky Mountain Oysters" ??? sheesh, never heard them called that before! Me Lad, you have an over keen interest in those Urals of Yours!!! That's for sure!

yes I know... Her Princessship is flying in tomorrow! I've got all the silver polished ready..
ekid
Posted 2010-03-24 8:19 PM (#32251 - in reply to #28978)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

Chris - 2009-12-03 6:23 PM

Look, you will need to have a general plan, from above you can see that these are not daily trains and arrive a few hours late and you will have to wait days for the next one. If you are OK with that and will chalk it down to the experience then fine.

As to arm waving and pointing, that might work in some places and make a good after dinner story but this is not the sort of place you want to attract that sort of attention to yourself, the best you could expect is to be ignored (which would be a result). Not a scare story just a simple observation - just imagine how most "red necks" would view some "dumb Arab" stood in a ticket office in Texas shouting in Arabic while waving his arms about? Amused? Not likely.

I suggest the least get some key phrases translated and written down or a simple Russian phrase book would help your whole experience and make things easier on you.

One other thing to bear in mind, is that many regional long distance trains sell out in advance of the departure date, so there is no guarantee that even if you arrive in time there will be tickets.

So, to repeat; a little research, planning and preparation will help you dropping yourself into the "deep doo-doo".


I will attempt to cut and paste a trip report made at TripAdvisors about crossing the border at Uzhgorod and buying ticket with nothing but english.

33. Re: Train Praha to Kiev
Mar 22, 2010, 7:56 PM
You folks gave so much help I feel you ought to know how it all went. After the first days RR travel, just after dark, I arrived Kosice. Being wary of US taxi prices, I carried two bags (approx. 40 pounds) three blocks or more to an expensive hotel just beside the doubletree. Whew!

I had not decided at this point how to cross the border, thinking the locals could advise me. Not so! There is not much cross border traffic; and a little bit of xenophobia (fear, dislike of strangers). Hotel desk clerk (young, very pretty, fair to good english) looked for taxi in Cierna to take me to the border; it's 10 km short; none on internet, nor in phone book. I had not yet learned how private taxis work in eastern europe. US people would call them "gypsy cabs".


I was very nervous about this crossing and fearful of difficulty in Uzhgorod buying train ticket. So I took afternoon bus. The crossing itself was uneventful, much to my relief. Someone in station mentioned this could sometimes take 10 hours, echoing dark warnings here and (RealRussia.com). As it turned out, we were not even unloaded off the bus as occurred every other national frontier!


It was approaching dusk as we entered Uzhgorod station. I would be buying ticket after dark with only english in a town where there IS no english (I thought!) I had printed out hard copy of scheduled trains that morning (all day to midnight) in english and cyrillic. I felt very proud of my wit.


I handed thru the slot the schedule. There were three, (trains) two were already gone. I showed money (Ukraine shekels) and plastic. Could there be any question?...Yes...but I could not understand. Just as here in US they got LOUDER as if that would help. Point at paper, ask again. I just looked puzzled. O h..K - they decide to speak s.l.o.w.e.r - e.n.u.n.c.i.a.t.e v.e.r.y c.a.re.f.u.ll.y ! (That didn't help either.) They, two or three of them, began to giggle in embarrassment. I began to wonder whether I was confused as to present date-which day it was.


BUT THEY DID NOT TURN AWAY FROM ME. They worked hard to accomodate my disability. Eventualy one of those glorious russian/ukrainian blond, blue eyed beauties stopped by and said "they want to know whether you want to go tonight?


"Da" I said. Huge smiles all around. They had my economic best interest at heart, you see. A ticket sold that I could not use could not be refunded. Some at RealRussia said I could not just pull up to window and ask for first train out of town. Well, it's not very common, but it can be done.


Not service minded??? Contemptuous of non-russian speakers?? Someone has been telling lies about these people! I wonder how to get a message to them about my good experience and warm feeling. They WOULD remember me, I guarantee.

Previous was cut and paste, this is not. If you computer experts at RealRussia know a way to get this message to the ticket office in Uzhgorod, it would be fun
Chris
Posted 2010-03-25 3:36 AM (#32253 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
20001000100100100
Location: Volgograd & Moscow
Not service minded??? Contemptuous of non-russian speakers?? Someone has been telling lies about these people!


Not really - read what was said previously, you met some good people, you could also have met some bad.

Anyway, well done, interesting read.

Chris
Posted 2010-03-25 3:44 AM (#32254 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
20001000100100100
Location: Volgograd & Moscow
By the way - I assume you used a single entry Kazakh visa for the trip?

How did you get on with couch surfers?
ekid
Posted 2010-03-25 11:24 PM (#32300 - in reply to #32254)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?
Member

Posts: 13

#1 - No, I had a double entry. I ended up going Kiev-Moscow-Toshkent.
(chuckle) Border guard at Russia/Kazakh frontier looks at my passport and raises his eyebrows in amazement.
"Americaine!?" I nodded, smiling quizzically.
He turns his head and shouts down the corridor "Americaine!".
"Americaine?" somebody yells.
"Yes, americaine!"
Soon there were three more peering over his shoulder and under his arm getting an eyefull of the "americaine". All official dignity was lost. Apparently, we are in short supply on train #006.

#2 - Great! I had known a 67 year old lady by her frequent posting on our "50+ group". She was the main reason I had to visit Toshkent. Other CS's were college boys in her english class. Very respectful young men. As far as CS help in Kiev and Moscow, I met none face to face; I went through entirely too fast. Most CSers are quite young, many are thinking only of partying and drinking (the western ones, that is); we have little in common.

At the Uzbek border, the authorities seemed to take their search duties more seriously. They wanted to know how much money I had. That was a first for me- I was uncomfortable with the question. My emergency fund was $1000 US in new ones, fives, and tens. I meant to use plastic for every purchase possible. Their concern, I assumed, was that I not become a burden on society.

But I didn't want to count it out in front of all the people in the train. I was already famous as an american picture-taking madman. (I took pictures of the most mundane sights you can imagine.) I would have preferred a personal search. I never did figure out what their interest was in counting the money. On leaving Uzbekistan they (a pretty young dark haired thing) wanted to count it again.
Chris
Posted 2010-03-26 5:03 AM (#32303 - in reply to #28901)
Subject: Re: Kazakh double entry-L.O.I.?


Expert

Posts: 3313
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Location: Volgograd & Moscow
Apparently, we are in short supply on train #006.


Oh yes.

Their concern, I assumed, was that I not become a burden on society.


No, they have similar money control laws to Russia, that is you can only take so much in and only so much out. Over a certain amount (usually $3,000) it must be declared and you get a receipt to show you brought it in legally, otherwise it will be confiscated when you leave!
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