Siberia, Russia Part 4 – Airport Follies and a Stern Lecture

Written by Rick Chapo

Continued from page 1

The airport terminal was pretty industrial. That is to say, no effort was made to sell you fast food, booze, ice cream, “Khabarovsk Hard Rock Café” shirts or duty-free crap you really didn’t need. Frankly, it was a relief.

Russian customs worked pretty muchrepparttar same way as customs at any airport. You grabbed your bags, bummed pens off of strangers to fill out forms and stood in long line with other tired travelers. Eventually, you got torepparttar 141543 front ofrepparttar 141544 line and tried to see howrepparttar 141545 person standing eight feet in front of you did it.

Unfortunately, my turn was also my first chance to experiencerepparttar 141546 Russian language. I passed my passport, custom forms and visa throughrepparttar 141547 little window. I also tried an innocent smile, which worked about as well as smiling at an IRS agent. Everything went smoothly untilrepparttar 141548 customs agent started speaking rapidly and pointing at my customs form. Something was wrong, but I hadn’t a clue as to what. I turned to Grae with a quizzical look and he came forward to interpret.

All international travelers quickly learn a fundamental rule. The “wait here” line at customs is sacred. To prematurely crossrepparttar 141549 line is to commit an act of war. Russian customs was no different. Grae was loudly instructed to get behindrepparttar 141550 line and wait his turn. The customs agent then gave me a stern lecture. To this day, I can’t tell you if he was discussing my forms orrepparttar 141551 weather, butrepparttar 141552 tone was definitely stern. The lecture was capped byrepparttar 141553 universal customs agent expression known as “stupid foreigner…why did I take this job…I really wanted to be a painter…”

Eventually,repparttar 141554 issue withrepparttar 141555 form was resolved. I would like to tell you that I took an active role in this, but I basically stood there whilerepparttar 141556 agent grumbled and aggressively stampedrepparttar 141557 documents. I did actively pray thatrepparttar 141558 stamp wouldn’t explode, but that was about it. Grae moved through customs without incident and we walked out intorepparttar 141559 cool, wet air of Khabarovsk, Russia.

To be continued…

Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - Preserve the experience with writing journals for traveling, hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing, bird watching and more. This story series is being created from journals entries in a Nomad Travel Journal.

Tips For Moving To Another Country

Written by Rod Morris

Continued from page 1

YOUR HOME - Think about what you want to do with your current home (e.g. sell it, lease it, leave it empty) and what kind of accommodation will be most suitable in your new country. If you don't know anyone inrepparttar new country who can help find accommodation, considerrepparttar 141420 services of a relocation agent.

EMPLOYMENT - Will you be looking for work in your new country? If so, consider starting your job hunt before you go (userepparttar 141421 Internet!) Will you be able to use your existing qualifications or will a period of retraining be necessary? If you're moving somewhere where they don't speakrepparttar 141422 same language as you then you should...

LEARN THE LANGUAGE - Few skills will have such a positive impact on your relocation experience as being able to speak, or at least understand,repparttar 141423 local language. Getting to grips withrepparttar 141424 local lingo before you go is a great idea!

PAPERWORK - No matter how insignificant that old document atrepparttar 141425 back ofrepparttar 141426 bottom drawer may seem now, take it with you,repparttar 141427 chances are at some stage you'll have to show it to someone. Moving countries can be a bureaucratic nightmare atrepparttar 141428 best of times but if you come prepared withrepparttar 141429 necessary paperwork you standrepparttar 141430 best chance of a stress free relocation. Things to think about include birth certificates, wedding certificates, educational certificates, medical certificates (including those for your pets!), etc.


Rod Morris is the owner of Expat Focus - - a leading web site for expatriates and anyone considering a move abroad. Rod is himself an expat having moved to the Netherlands from the UK and he has also travelled widely throughout Europe, the US and beyond.

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