4/14/11

RUSSLAND RETROSPECT

I like to say I'm ballin on a budget or that I'm a temporarily employed expatriate, but times are hard. So never in my wildest dreams did I think a Monday evening could be so chaotic. My advice to you sappy travelers, do your homework --especially when it comes to traveling outside the EU/Open Borders. Having a passport just won't cut it for some countries. These countries have STRICT visa entry rules, and no matter your nationality or if the USA is allies with them, they won't bend the rules.

Yes, I think it was amazingly stupid and a direct rip-off. Sure I could've phoned for the Embassy or Consulate. But what if they told me the same thing? Perhaps Russia should have a transit bus, for those types of issues.

Or I shouldn't have been cheap and purchased TWO separate tickets. It cost me more in the long run. So another tip, just buy a direct flight... OR research your options.

If I could re do it. I'd totally would've researched my options and more than likely still bought separate tickets, but they would have been for the right airport. And, I wouldn't have a suitcase STILL in Germany.

PLANNING is ESSENTIAL!

So I learned my lesson the hard way. Now, I leave you with my theme music for my Chaotic Russland Trip, courtesy of GLEE Season One, Sectionals.

RUSSLAND Recap IIII

Editors Note: I dearly apologize but these postings will be looking all sorts of crazy-- infused with slandering, cussing, and major abuse directed to the international community. It was written in the heat of battle and I take nothing back! However, I am definitely looking into a career change... perhaps International Relations is not my forte?? ENJOY! :)

Part 4


March 29
8:05am German Time

I arrive in GE. I go through passport control. They ask why I'm here, I say to catch a connecting flight to Russia. They ask when I'm leaving I say within 6 hours. They scratch their heads, and than ask. Didn't you just come from Russia. I said yea, but I needed a visa to go 10 minutes down the road. The look at me. Shake their heads and say enjoy Germany.

Next, I find Air Berlin -- where I'm assisted with the information that the connecting flight is at an airport that is 20 minutes away. I hop in a taxi where I pay nearly 50euro, looking back I should've just looked to see if there was an bus going that direction, but I wanted to get to that airport ASAP JIC there weren't many seats left to Moscow/SVO. But seriously, who goes to Moscow?? The plane (Russian Airlines, Aeroflot) is departing at 9:45am, and with minutes to spare I withdraw euro from an ATM (praying to God that I won't over draw my account).

The lady at the counter was helpful in general but the lack of her English and my German, bogged us down for atleast 20 minutes. She kept telling me there was no flight, I kept saying there was. Apparently, She was under the impression that I already booked my flight.

Sigh.

So, after I potentially overdrew my checking & credit cards. I called my mother and asked her to deposit monies into my checking account. I really hate to see the phone bill from these past two days.

Now I am the flight headed to Moscow/SVO. Here's to Praying everything goes right.

The flight lands safely, this airport is so much nicer than the other (DME). It's cleaner and the people are helpful AND speak English. Things always look better in the day light!

So as I begin my already dreary 5-8 hour layover, I laugh. Looking out the window I can see the other airport/DME. I think I should be hysterical right now. It's seriously no more than a 4 minute drive. I'm in the bloody red up to the wazoo. Why? Why? Why?!!! It's RIGHT there!!

PS. ya'll should see this jazzy old man trying to mack on the bartender.

9:40pm

The flight to Seoul/ICN begins now. The plane is a bit delayed but what-ev. I pray everything goes safely and that these Russian mob-look-a-likes don't take over the plane, and that my seat-mate turns off his android. Jerks.

After, consuming a wonderful airline meal (no seriously it was good!) and taking 2 Drama-Mines (??) I wake to find myself in Seoul. Everything looks so foreign, it's unreal!

My friend meets me about 30 minutes later and now off I go to leave my European adventures behind. Hello to Asia!

Thanks for Reading!!

RUSSLAND Recap III

Editors Note: I dearly apologize but these postings will be looking all sorts of crazy-- infused with slandering, cussing, and major abuse directed to the international community. It was written in the heat of battle and I take nothing back! However, I am definitely looking into a career change... perhaps International Relations is not my forte?? ENJOY! :)

PART 3


So, as I sit in the holding cell aka transit area I'm torn between crying and killing people. Luckily, in the holding cell I meet a hot Brazilian dude who is on his way to Austria. The thing that brings us together is our lack of Visas. GRRR

So, I sit next to the Brazilian who laments about being in the holding cell for 10 hours! So here's his story. He had a visa but it expired, so now he can't leave the airport/holding cell until his flight. But due to the major mix up in communication he missed his original flight, and had to book another flight (sounds familiar-- seriously the US should take notes in regards to handling illegal immigration. No one would ever come back to our country if we did it like Russia... jerks).

4-ish-am

So, back to me. I paid 161.99euro to go back to Berlin/TXL at 6am (THANK GOD FOR CREDIT CARDS) But that seriously grinds my gears! According to my conversions, the airport I need to fly too is 62 feet away. Another sucky thing, is that the actual ticket price was 96.99euro but the service charge cost me more than a grip. I feel like I got gypped. Seriously, when I was in Germany/NUE and they were clarifying details, how come they didn't notice this potential problem. and I know I already said this but I just want to reiterate that I have to buy a ticket BACK to Moscow/SVO.

Fucking Ridiculous and these workers of DME & RBP are so damn rude. They laugh at the customers misery, ignore the ones with questions, pretend they can't speak English ---I'm sorry if you're an international airport shouldn't your Representatives speak flipping English! But seriously, this girl pulled out her mirror -No she wasn't an AKA-- to fix her makeup while the Brazilian dude pleaded for her help. The workers seemed more concerned with looking jazzy than helping the CUSTOMERS! Or, when I needed my itinerary for my continuing travel --every good traveler should have one-- the RBP dude got in my face yelling "I SAY, I SAY, I SAY." Ok Holmes, you may say but I will go upside your head with a quickness. By this point I was willing to be thrown in jail or sent to the embassy. Although, after speaking with my mom she definitely cautioned me in staying calm, seeing as how my family can't just fly over and get me out of Russian jail. That phone call lasted quite a while. She had to calm me cuz I tend to do crazy things.

5:40am

Oh shit, the adrenaline is rushing in my body! I had to American on they ass! Don't tell me to sit down when my flight is doing a last boarding call. Who do you think they are calling?? ME DUH! I jumped up with a quickness and basically ran down to the Border Police office and demanded they take me to my flight! The Air Berlin Representative informed me earlier, that I would be escorted onto the plane by the RBP, who would than give me my ticket/baggage info and my passport. My flight was to leave at approx. 6am) .. yea this is something of the crazy things my mother cautioned against. I don't think she would've been proud.

No, but seriously me and this woman was gonna box like fucking Ali and a buttercup. I was too heated, that these fools were taking their lily sweet time. Our jailer in the holding cell ran after me, grabbed and yanked me back upstairs, screaming at me. I gave back just as good. You can yell as loud as you want in Russian and I will yell back just as loudly. I refuse to be stranded in the God-forsaken place! I showed out and went off! BUT, I bet you the RBP escorted me to my airline with a quickness.


I even got cheeky on the way out. Yelling in the jailers face "CIAO, CIAO!" .. Had a big ass grin on my face as I got taken away.Of course the foolishness didn't end right there. When I reached for my passport and information papers, he gives it to the flight attendant instead and gives me a dirty look. My shoe, his knee. It almost happened. However, the GERMAN flight attendant was very soothing. I was so heated. I'm trying to calm down but I def need a drink cuz I've been awake since 10:30am of March 28.

Wonderfully, I got a entire row to myself on the flight back to Berlin/TXL. I was knocked out.

PS. When I finally left, the Brazilian guy was still there. Due to the utter disregard for their passengers/customers/international relations. He missed his flight again.

RUSSLAND Recap II

Editors Note: I dearly apologize but these postings will be looking all sorts of crazy-- infused with slandering, cussing, and major abuse directed to the international community. It was written in the heat of battle and I take nothing back! However, I am definitely looking into a career change... perhaps International Relations is not my forte?? ENJOY! :)
 
PART TWO:

March 29:

It all happened as we began to land in Moscow/DME. The turbulence, the massive crowds of air line passengers struggling to get off the air craft. It all boils down to these key things.

1. I need to get my luggage
2. I need to check in for my flight to South Korea (SK) and get a boarding pass.
3. I think I need to go through passport control???

Let's just say none of this happens. The Russian Border Police (RBP) are confused as to why I don't have a visa, and as to how I got there.

Do you know what is frustrating? That another passenger had to translate for me to the RBP. I'm just not understanding the worlds refusal to acknowledge English as the dominant global language. DO I LOOK LIKE I SPEAK RUSSIAN?!!?!?!?!

The only good thing about the delaying of my obtaining information is that its now 2:45am and my flight doesn't depart until 9:35pm. I just hope my baggage doesn't get stolen cuz there will be hell to pay.

Right now I'm watching them make copies of my passport and verify someone else's with some kind of eye scanner. Oh, no she didn't! She just told me to shoo. Oooh!

15 minutes later:

WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL??!! If I could politely apply thumbscrews to someone (preferably Russian) my life would be SO wonderful! According to the Russian Airport/DME or really my Air Berlin Representative --who spoke wonderful English--, my connecting flight/SVO is less than 100 meters away. 10 minutes walking! Because of --they lack the proper resources, i.e. terminal buses or more importantly OPEN BORDERS --  this I can't leave the airport due to lacking a a visa! A visa to walk down the m-effing STREET!

Which means, are you ready??? I have to FLY BACK ... to GERMANY!!! And than FLY BACK to the exact airport in MOSCOW/SVO! This has become the most frustrating morning of my existence.

PS. I have to pay for each flight. Yep. WITH what bloody money?!!!

RUSSLAND Recap I

Editors Note: I dearly apologize but these postings will be looking all sorts of crazy-- infused with slandering, cussing, and major abuse directed to the international community. It was written in the heat of battle and I take nothing back! However, I am definitely looking into a career change... perhaps International Relations is not my forte?? ENJOY! :)
 
PART ONE

March 28:

5-ish-Pm

Can nothing in my life begin calmly? But, what would be the fun in that? I arrive to Nuremberg/NUE airport with 40 minutes to spare only to find that I'm eligible for only one suitcase of 20kils, and my second suitcase of 22kilos would force me to pay 200euros. No Bueno, my Friends. The issue at hand, I booked 2 separate flights, so according to the GE monitor I was flying domestic. When I was really flying International.

 Luckily, my now former roommate hadn't left and I was able to consolidate my items and pay only 30euros. However, this meant that I would have to forgo the necessities of my life, i.e. rain boots, hats, jewelry, hair gel, my wigs, etc.

I never EVER wanna hear complaints about American Airline Companies and their skyrocketing prices, it's still a lot cheaper than GE!

As I attempt to clarify my flight while I'm still in a country that speaks moderately good (yes I know I repeated myself there) English, I'm told that I will have no issue entering Russia due to my being there for less than/then 24 hours. SCORE! After a semi-tear filled goodbye I depart for Berlin/TXL.

I would like to state here, how I spend the first 15-20 minutes of every flight: I pray fervently to God and ask for His Blessings on my trips, for nothing dramatic to occur, or life threatening to happen en route. That the pilot/flight attendants and all that handle the plane (departure/arrivals) are awake, sober, not lust crazed, and competent. I also pray that the my fellow (stupid) passengers turn off their electronic toys and don't decide to terrorize the plane.

Thankfully, I made it to Berlin safely. I had a 4 hour layover, and than I began my trip to Moscow/DME.

That's where the Drama began!

4/10/11

Creative Imaginings: Book Challenge 2011

15. The Courtesan's Daughter by Claudia Dain
16. White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
17. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
18. Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland

4/5/11

Creative Imaginings: Book Challenge 2011

9. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
10. The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
11. The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks
12. The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks
13. The Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks
14. The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I read these while enroute to SK... I needed something to do :)

SK: Week 1

So I've been in SK for officially a week, starting tomorrow! WOWZERS. Let's just say I wasn't a fan and underwhelmed by it all. But I started out Monday with positive thoughts and I actually ventured out for a solo trip. I ended up at the Korean War Museum which was closed, but I saw some amazing statues. One actually brought a tear to my eye! So, here's to hoping SK will get better! It has too! Pray for me ya'll I'm on the J-O-B hunt!

The Statue of Brothers
There was an error in this gadget