18 Jul 14
14 Jul 14
The several hours we spend walking through the historical 19th Century Old Town of Gorodets had the look and feel of a community out of sync with the Soviet Union’s drab style of architecture. It could have been a model for a Potemkin village built to impress with homes adorned on the outside with Gorodets carvings and paintings on their shutters, doors, and gates with beautiful landscaped yards, trees, shrubs, flowers and garden spots. On the inside objects of daily life were all hand made with walls trimmed in the Gorodets painting style painted in broad free brush strokes.
All Aboard! Come travel with me through a small part of the back roads of Russia on a train. Through a world appearing hopelessly locked in another moment in time as the train clips quietly along over the tracks through the Russian countryside, leaving those on the other side of the window to fend and carry on as they have for generations, while the other passengers inside were content to play with their electronic devices.
A story of how Yankee and Ukrainian ingenuity conquered the inner workings of Moscow’s underground metro, designed without any thought given to accessibility for passengers with luggage, handicaps or the elderly, by pulling and toting their trolley loaded with 25 kilos of cargo to the only Russian Post in all of Moscow that handles international shipments. And then to encounter a paper jam that lasted for nearly 3 hours.
My first time with my wife to the artisan wholesale market in Moscow was an incredible experience to see and be a part of. There were hundreds of vendors wanting us to buy their handmade goods. My wife had been here before. My duties in all of this were to keep my mouth shut, be a good mule by doing all the heavy lifting and toting things back to our hotel room using our hand trolley and a pack strapped over my back. For this I needed to have a Russian visa!
When you are going to San Francisco be sure to put some flower in your hair may be good advice. However, when your going through San Francisco to get a visa to Russia be prepared for a whole new generation with new explanations since the US and Russia agreed to simplifying the process of getting a Russian Visa. Americans have become accustomed to the ease of living in an electronic world where documents of all kinds are accepted worldwide electronically. Not the case in Russia. Things are done for the convenience of administrators and not for general public. Like requiring an original hard copy of a certified document instead of an electronic one can delay or even cancel a planned trip. This was our experience...