Thursday, January 31, 2008

Leaving Perm

Perm Hotel.

We left Perm, the snow and the brutal cold this morning. Roma picked us up at 10:00 am to take us to the airport but we didn't leave the hotel until 11:00. He had to drive a bit faster than usual to make sure we got to the airport with plenty of time to check our luggage and go through the Passport Control line. Just about ten minutes before getting to the airport the police stopped us at an improvised checkpoint. I panicked for two reasons. One, I thought they were going to start questioning us or asking for our visas (which was one of the possible things the agency had warned us it could happen)and second, I thought that if this took too long we would miss our flight.
Roma didn't seem to concerned, he stopped at the command, got out of the car in a real hurry and talked to the cops for about a minute; he handed them two pieces of documents, then jumped back in the car and took off. We asked what that was all about and he assured us nothing was wrong. I asked him about the fact that he handed his documents to the cops and didn't get them back. He said that he had told the cops that he had two American guests with him and was running late to the airport.
He also asked the cop if he could leave his documents while they ckecked them out on some database, and picked them up on the way back from the airport. I guess the cop said yes because we did take off without them. They were going to check to make sure his driver's license was good and make sure his car wasn't stolen. Weird! Like that would ever happen in the US...getting out of the car to be face-to-face with a cop, let you leave to go deliver people at the airport and wait for you to get back. Ha!


kelly said...

Oh My Gosh! this happened to us about 5 times while we were there,especially on our drive out to Berizniki.We were so amazed that they could just stop you and ask for your stuff.Really Weird