Kind of an admin day today – checked at the South Korean consulate that Vaga’s European passport was sufficient documentation for entry – completed stage two of the visa registration process (a requirement originating from Soviet times that probably isn’t even necessary but everyone’s too paranoid to ignore) – and bought our tickets for the Dong Chun Ferry that will carry us away from Russia.
The visa registration palava is a procedure whereby every foreigner has to register with the authorities of a town once you have stayed there for three days. If you stay at a hotel the receptionist can just stamp your immigration card herself but if you are living in your own truck or if you never stay anywhere for longer than three days (easy to do in this vast country), and given that there’s no way to prove where you are or have been, then things get a little complicate; upon exit the police may wonder why you have no stamps and query what you have been up to for all the time you’ve spent in Russia. So, religiously, we’ve been saving every fuel receipt so we have some sort of evidence that we’re always moving around. However, since we have been in Vladik for a couple of weeks now, parked up next to the Police Centre for Sport and Recreation no less and around the corner from the traffic police headquarters, we have chickened out and asked a couple of Russian friends to help us through the process.