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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Decisions 

Hey

So, my flights are reserved, just waiting for a cheaper flight to happen with my flight from Beijing - I've been told I could save $100 if I wait. Think of all the piwo I can buy with that!

I've been on the fence, but I'm now leaning towards shooting film on this trip. Might be simpler, easier to avoid technical problems. So, be sure to leave some space in your pack for my shit, willya? You're a sweetie.

Oh, what kind of storage card do you use for your digital camera? There seem to be so many different sizes. I do have a card reader for my iPod, so I can bring that along for your use if it's compatible.

How was the wedding? Thanks for sending the photos in a timely fashion! ;-)

Alright, find a map: I'm in Klamath Falls, Ore., birthplace of Tara Lynn Fields. That's about the best thing about this ranch town.

Time for some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,
Sol

Monday, February 23, 2004

things get going 

flights are booked! visa is in process.
heading for moscow on april 12th, leaving from beijing on the night may 1st to 2nd.

yipiieeeh!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Nema problemo, polako, polako... 

Hey buddy

Yeah, the Russian visa is a headache. We need to decide where we are staying in Moscow right away. And then get an agency to invite us. I've been going over the book - and online. It's confusing. What we need is the business visa (which allows for more flexibility). But we'll be ok.

And I'm not worried about getting train tickets. Long lines? Part of the experience. Hey, we'll get to spend that quality time together. Like I said, the train tickets are on me. Just got a random check in today's mail for $600 from AP. If that's not an omen, what is?

OK, I'm going back to the evening research. More soon.

Remember the sage Bosnians: "Polako, polako.."

Sol

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

serious doubt 

Sol, I don´t wanna be the party-pooper, but things look a little dissappointing from my point of view:

I got the actual train-fares: depending on the amount of stops on the road and the kind of luxury that we choose, we´ll have to calculate between 800 up to 1000 euros for train tickets! and prices are already announced to rise, everybody seems to wait for it.

Getting a visa without professional help seems rather impossible. These agencies on the other hand suggest to give it at least 8 weeks of time to get all the 3 visas... At least that could still be possible.
The whole visa-thing is around 150 to 200 euro.

Buying tickets during the trip seems to be not the best idea, especcially if you do not want to spend hours in wainting-lines and are keen on the joy of riding in a nice compartment.
Tickets therefor should best be ordered (agencies at this point, again) like 50 days in advance.
That of course demands a strikt pre-planning of the whole trip: when to stop where for how long (e.g. because some trains -especcially the international ones- only run once a week). And then it seems like the german agencies are only capable of doing all this booking-stuff for german-residents...

April has less humidity than summer but is also a lot cooler. Average temperature runs around freezing...

Hotels and family stays are pretty high-priced. Calculate an estimated 50 euros per day on days off the train for food+bed.

You see - I am really concerned right now. And money is one key-factor...
How far are your proceedings so far? The basketball-player visit seems fixed already, correct?
I am confused right now... better get some sleep. Tomorrow´s another day.

Monday, February 16, 2004

another stone in my way 

... is the plane-arrangement.
Seems like cheapest way is a return-flight to Moscow (222.- euros) and a one-way-trip from Beijing to Moscow. And they are something between 550 and 1500 euro!

Plus I dunno yet how exactly to get that Moscow-transit done - visa-vise.
For flightdates things seem to become clearer: 12th of april should be a good start to M. And back from Beijing on the 3rd or 4th... hope I get that cheap version to Moscow fixed cause flights directly to Germany start around 2000.- euros! That would be enough money to fly to New York and back SEVEN times.
Sometimes it´d be just great to have normal job-security and regular income :-(
To be continued (when back on positive).

getting a visa to russia 

... seems to be a tough mission. what you need is an invitation, from a company, a friend/ relative or hotel... Well, I´ll sleep on a train, will the conductor write me an invitation?
So the way of choice will be to employ an agency to get me the desired piece of paper. Costs: Some 40 bucks+
I just don´t understand what this invitation-thing should be good for - are they keen on keeping tourists out of the country?

my first posting, I'm so nervous... 

So, me and Pete seem to have decided on dates: 11 April- 3 May. It's so close! But now I have to get off my ass and figure out the 2 dozen visas we'll need in order to avoid the Gulag.

I'm so excited, I don't know what more to type...

A bientot!
Sol

Train experiences 

Had to do some train-travel last tuesday... it was horrible: First of all Munich Underground was not in time. That started the whole collapse.
Because of that I had to catch a later train to Stuttgart - which arrived in Munich some 15 min late. But I had only 11min in Stuttgart to catch my connection... the whole trip was like a thriller:
How many minutes did we catch up? Will I make it? Then, short before getting to S, the conducter announced, the connecting train could not wait.
But it was still standing there! Pure horror! Think I lost some weight on that trip...
TransSib should be more relaxed... no dates on arrival :-)

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Sarajevo flashbacks 

munich had an early attack of spring weather for the last few days. and yesterday + today the smell and warmth reminded me of sarajevo... for whatever reason. i dunno myself but the air just tickled that very special synaptic constellation.
something else: did you notice that this blog runs on moscow time?
:-)

Friday, February 06, 2004

get informed about changes 

... on this blog via www.weblogs.com
you sign in and they send you e-mail whenever someone posts new stuff.
neat, huh?
hello world!
sol, now we have our own library on the trip, growing with our ideas, questions and stupid stuff.
watch out: it´s public! so choose your language carefully... i don´t want to be responsible for any 12 year old that happens to cross the site and starts some kinda SM-career from that day on...
:-)

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