Bribed at last!

Moscow Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 658 › view all entries

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Giuseppe (Italy)

Our first day in Moscow was spent once again searching out the Chinese embassy and eventually finding it to be told it only works from 9am till noon everyday! Next step was to register my visa as i had heard countless stories of police stopping tourists around Red Square. I was told in the immigration office they would not register my visa for some unknown reason and to go to a hotel. I took it to Godzillas Hostel who then took it to exactly the same place and i had to pay $20 for the privilege! Typical Russian beauracracy. Afterwards we took a stroll to Red Square to see St Basils Cathedral before getting an early night.

Day 2 and eventually we handed in our visa forms to the Chinese embassy! After this, we went to the newly built extremely impressive Cathedral of Christ Our Saviour, monument on the river to Peter The Great and also took a stroll down pedestrianised Ulitsa Arbat. At night we went for a lovely Italian, but had to leave in a hurry as the lady (Luba) we were staying with for the first 2 nights, had an 11pm curfew! So we ran all the way home like a couple of schoolkids!

Moscow is such a huge city, that Day 3 was spent doing trivial things, such as moving hostel, repairing some broken boots, getting an ISIC card and using the internet. Everything is so spread out, that something you could do in most cities in a couple of hours, ends up taking an entire day.

That night we headed to a club called Propaganda, but as people had previously warned me, Moscows nightlife is not a patch compared to that of St Petersburg's!

Day 4 and we collected our passports, complete with Chinese visa - relief. We then tried to go and see the Luzhnicky Stadium (Spartak Moscow football) but when we got there, all the moody security guards would not even let us peak through some barriers at the ground! I managed to sneak in through an open gate into the arena and take 1 pretty poor picture, but i felt i got one over the security men!

We then headed back to Red Square and the Kremlin where we were stopped by a lovely police officer asking to see our documents. I very smuggly got out all the correct info and he said everything was in order.

However, he then informed Juliana that as she was not from Moscow, but from St Petersburg, she must prove when she arrived in Moscow as even Russian citizens can only stay there for short periods of time! Having never thought this was neccessary for her, she had no proof of arrival so was told she would be arrested, detained for 3 hours and fined $60. After a brief discussion the officer then said there would be a quicker way.... pay him $30! Big surprise. We decided we'd rather go the police station and take our chances. However, he kindly gave us a student discount and accepted $20, passed across in the passport! Questionning what should happen if we were stopped again, he laughed and said he would look after us! He said to tell anyone stopping us, that Sergei had already stopped us and we had given him a present.
Only 2 minutes later we were stopped again and relayed this info, to be sent on our way! Later, we found that Russians are normally only bribed for $5 but as there was a foreigner accompanying the Russian, this price obviously escalates! Also, any fine at the station would also only have been $5, but i guess been bribed in Russia is a cultural experience, that one should embrace! To rub salt into our wounds, the Kremlin isn't even open on Thurdays!

Friday started much the same way as Thursday, we went to Lenins tomb and found it was shut, but at least we got into the Kremlin! I must say, i always expected much more, and i left a little deflated.We took a trip out to the All Russian Exhibition Centre and Memorial Museum of Cosmonauts to find this shut for re-construction and decided it was time we got out of Moscow before we lost our sanity!


missandrea81 says:
hahaha. Sergei, huh? I'm sure you can't walk a block in Mockba without coming across at least one Sergei. Hilarious.
Posted on: Nov 26, 2009
Deats says:
Maybe a couple of special brews ;)
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
mfmcp1982 says:
Bunging the cops cash - brilliant! Wonder if that would work in Glasgow?!
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
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