Friday, 1 August 2008

Law and Order

Post written from Yaroslavl' also known as Ярославль. Yes, I mean Ярославль. Now try to order food with that. Learning Russian is becoming a survival necessity for us. Since we found out the joys of living wild in the woods, with the bears and all, (yesterday's evening) we are keen on getting back to civilization. However, it is proving a little bit more tricky than anticipated. Communication is reduced to animal sounds (my very famous sheep impression got us some beef, it was good anyway). Russian Babouchkas are happy to help but the men usually dismiss us as the two clowns we really are.

We also discovered the famous Russian roads. Paul and I are now fully acustomed to our new size being respectively shorter by 9.71 and 8.42 centimeters. This slight compression of our backbone came free of charge from the Russian highway agency. We also nearly lost the alternator in the process, having shaken itself of its bolts in no time.

The best bit for the end: arriving at the hotel we discovered that we are in fact illegal in Russia. Not kidding, the border police somehow forgot to give us our imigration cards (for my Mom: not good). Any of the following can now happen:
- large fine by the local police
- large fine by the border police
- severe beating by the local police
- severe beating by the border police
- jail by the local police
- latex glove inspection by the border police (they like to vary the pleasures)
- not being able to leave Russia
- not being able to re-enter Russia (from Kazhakstan, mandatory to get to Mongolia)

Seriously now: if anyone as had a similar problem before, or knows someone who knows someone who can help us, please, please, please send us a message.



Brruno said...

Доброе утро!

Here is what I found on the US Embassy website for your migration card issue:
Replacing a lost or stolen migration card is extremely difficult. While authorities will not prevent foreigners from leaving the country if they cannot present their migration cards, travelers could experience problems when trying to re-enter Russia at a future date.

Sounds like you guys should be able to get to Kazhakstan, after that I'm not sure the land frontier posts are technologically prepared to check if you are allowed to enter the country or not.

Good luck!

Brruno said...

And the info on the French Embassy's webiste may also be useful for you guys :

Julie said...

Hi Paul and Cedric,

Sounds like things are getting a little scary right now; I'm sure things will work out ok and you won't get the latex glove. At least if you have to stay in Kazhakstan, Cedric has the right swimsuit!!

We are watching your progress from New Zealand, and wishing you well.
Love Julie

les parents said...

Suis très inquiète, je vous engueulerais après, esayez de vous sortir très vite de ce pétrin, contactez ambassade de france ou d'angleterre, voir avec organisateur du rally si solutions.
Bonne chance.

Anonymous said...

Salut Cédric et Paul,
C'est galère ce genre de situation dans ce type de pays. Je pense qu'il faut que vous fassiez part de votre situation (si ce n'est pas déjà fait) à l'organisation du rallye qui à certainement déjà rencontré ce genre de problème ou qui l'a déjà anticipé. Sur le nombre d'équipages ayant déjà participé à ce rallye, ce ne serait pas de "bol" que des problèmes similaires ne soient jamais arrivés. Si vous voulez que l'on fasse des démarches (appels téléphoniques, mail, etc...) auprès de certains services ou ambassades depuis la France, faites le nous savoir.
C'est aussi ça l'aventure!!!
Tchao, à plus.
Jean-Luc, Françoise et Plume.

Anonymous said...

Salut les filles!

I hope you haven’t tried the latex gloves yet.

I tried to get in touch with the Mongol Rally team to ask for some advise but I couldn’t find any phone number on their website. I’ve just dropped them a line and waiting for a reply. Let us know if they gave you some contact details we’ll give them a shout.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

Just got a reply back from the rally team -

“I'm not sure what you mean by an immigration card as I have never been
issued with one. It could be an idea for them to contact the local
immigration office, possibly the easiest way to do it is through a Hotel
who can do the queuing on their behalf. Unfortunately we have not come
across this so I am not of much help. I will try to drop you a line in
a bit.”


Anonymous said...

I’ve finally managed to talk to Tom from the rally team. He told me that the most likely thing that will happen is a small official fine when you exit Russia or a massive unofficial one depending on who’s at the border…

If you’re feeling worried and want to get the missing paper back, your best option is to contact the local immigration office (if any). The waiting time is supposed to be really long, hence you should ask someone from a hotel to queue for you while you go and get some more Nutella.

Hope this helps,