Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dr. Brueck, plastic surgeon in Russia - Day 2

This the second day of Dr. Brueck's Siberian Medical Misssion diary

June 25th 2008

We landed at one of 3 or 4 airports in Moscow, the one we landed at was SVO, it was a considerable distance from Moscow and I was picked up by 2 members of the team.

As I was going through passport control I thought I was going to have to order pizza, slow, slower and slowest seemed to be the fashion of the day. It may have just been my nervous anxiety to begin the journey; I breezed right through customs with about $10,000.00 in cash that I was bringing over to the mission. They had sent me a check, asked me to cash it and bring new $100 bills.

I was waiting for some Russian customs official to start barking out in Russian to pull me aside and search me but I was cagey and I wrapped the money in saran wrap and put it inside my socks and I wore boots. Fortunately I went right through and was not detained or stopped in any way.

The team members were there waiting for me and I was relieved when I saw them, not speaking Russian could have been a problem and I later came to find out that very few people in Russia actually speak English.

The trip into the city was long, probably about an hour; we must have driven by 30,000 apartment complexes, of course I’m exaggerating but not by much. They are everywhere like trees in a forest.

We arrived at the apartment and Grisha, my interpreter (correcting typographical error) and I went to his apartment to get his things for our journey to Saint Petersburg. I soon found out that it is a very common custom throughout Russia to take your shoes off and put on slippers before you walk around the house.

Our train for Saint Petersburg was going to leave at 11:30 that night so we spent 2 or 3 hours trying to get rubles from the ATM machine with my visa card, this was next to impossible. I think we had spent a couple of hours contacting the States and the company and fortunately we were able to get it done before going to the train station.

We got to the train station in plenty of time and boarded around 11:00pm to begin our overnight journey into Saint Petersburg.

Day three, June26, will be posted tomorrow. Thank you

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Blogger Kristine said...

Hi Dr. B ~ I can't believe that you hid the money in the saran wrap and got thru! What would have happened if the Russian customs officials would've found the money? Also, was Grisha your interpreter or your entrepreneur? You might want to check your blog.

August 25, 2008 at 10:07 PM  

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