Day 163 | Wednesday August 24
My host Olga took me for a sightseeing tour in Moscow. Tours from locals are always the best ones as they take you off the touristic route and tell you more about it than most tour guides. So we went to see some churches, cathedrals, parks and what more. Moscow has beautiful areas, some modern, some old, all very impressive. We visited Moscow City, the business area with lots of high rise and fancy shops. In one of the buildings every hour they showed an fountain show, the water almost hit the roof.
Yesterday I heard that as a tourist in Russia I needed to register myself to show that I am still in the country. I asked the Dutch embassy for some advice as no-one really seemed to now the procedure for this. Now I received a mail and they told me I needed to register today otherwise I would receive a fine. We hurried to a migration office but on Wednesday they didn’t do administrative business, so the only options was to do it tomorrow.
Day 164 | Thursday August 25
Today turned out to be a long and weird day. A long story in a few sentences: we went to the migration office, they told us they didn’t register foreigners here. Next office: ok you can register here, it took us 45 minutes to fill out all the forms than they said: sorry you (Olga) are registered in Moscow so you need to go there. Went to Moscow: you are too late, you need to talk to the boss and possibly pay a fine. Boss: you can’t pay a fine, you need to go to court on Monday and the chance is for 99% sure that you will be deported. Other option: go to the border and see what happens, which was the best option according to her. Oh oh. This didn’t sound so good so I contacted the Dutch Embassy.
Day 165 | Friday August 26
Around 9 in the morning I received a call from the Embassy, I needed to come right away to talk with the consul. I took public transport as with the car it takes hours to reach the city. Olga gave me passes so I could travel around. At the embassy they told me it was strange that I couldn’t pay for the fine as it’s regulated by law. They already made some phone calls to the migration office and even there they said it was weird. Strange experience. The solution: I needed to check-in at a hotel and they would register the visa and I needed to pay a fine because I was too late. Problem: no money. First I went to a few hostels as they are cheaper but they couldn’t help me. A hotel was willing to offer me a fictive room for a cheap price and they would do the paperwork, damage: 2100 Rubles/ Troubles. They send all the info to the migration office and they would give me a call how it would work out. Late in the evening they told me everything was good en didn’t even need to pay a fine. Funny how things work here. I payed for the room with my creditcard which means I am 2100 Rubles in red and need to find a way to earn some money.
Anyway everything is fine now and I would like to thank the Dutch embassy for their help. Because of the struggles these days I had to cancel two interviews with interesting companies. I was really looking forward to meet them but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I traveled back to Olga’s home, packed my bags and went to a new host: Andrey who lives on the east side of Moscow. He saw me on Bjorn Nylands video and had been following me since. He drives an electric Lada so I was very interested in how this works. More about this tomorrow.
Special thanks to my hosts were I have been staying for 4 nights: Olga, Dacha, Roman and dad. They took care of me really well, making nice food and sharing their stories.