Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Traveling (sort of)

I made it to Estonia and back. I was planning to include a lovely photo in this post, but somehow I didn’t manage to take any photos, even though I had a working camera with me….

The day went like this: at 9:00 I met up with a friend from Canada (James) and we got on the bus to leave for Estonia. We drove for 3-4 hours and then got to the Russian border. I was a little nervous going through passport control because I had reason to believe that my documents might not be in order. I was praying for mercy. Then when I stepped up to the window, the officer looked at my passport and said “Do you speak Russian?” Uh oh. I said in English, “Yes, a little.” Then he said, in perfect English, “Take off your glasses (I’m not wearing glasses in the photo).” Then he confirmed it was the same person, stamped my passport, and I was free to leave. Now, why did he ask me if I spoke Russian, since he spoke perfect English? Just a test?

After we drove for a little bit, we began to cross the Estonian border. James told me to look out the window for where the line is. I said, “What does it look like?” He said “You’ll know. Watch the sidewalk.” I looked out the window. After a few minutes, the snow-covered sidewalk turned into neat and tidy, shoveled sidewalk. We had entered Estonia.

We arrived in Narva, which is just over the border and has about a 95% Russian population. We were waiting for an Estonian guy whom James was meeting, and I tried to take a photograph. I couldn’t get my camera to work, though I had tested it the night before. I thought “oh well, there will be time later.” The man pulled up and signaled for us to jump in the car. Then he took us to lunch at a local shopping center. I found out that he’s a pastor at a local church. They have a lot of youth and do programs for orphans/street kids.

I tested my camera and it worked after all, but… after lunch we spent awhile exchanging/withdrawing money, and then did a little shopping. Since I hadn’t been expecting to go to Estonia, I didn’t have a wishlist or anything. The groceries were a lot cheaper than in St.Petersburg. I got some brown sugar, chocolate, and coffee. Then we waited for Marko (the pastor) to buy something. There was a complication with that, and we ended up getting back to the bus station with no time to spare.

So I left having done little exploring, but I accomplished what I had come for…to obtain a newly stamped migration card! Now I just have to register and I’ll be good to go.

1 comment:

Note: Comments aren't proofread, but I will delete them if they seem inappropriate.

You’re welcome to leave a link to your own blog here if it's relevant to this blog.

Please make sure that your comments are 1) relevant and 2) respectful (i.e. no cuss words, attacks on individuals).