18 November, 2007

Visas, phones, and chilling bones...

When we came to Russia, we knew before our original three month visas expired we would have to leave the country and re-enter with new visas to continue staying longer than the three months. At the time, we learned that the process of obtaining new visas could be done in as little as a day, including the train trip to the country where we would obtain new visas. Now it looks like we will need two weeks to complete this process! So we will likely have an unplanned vacation, at our expense (a portion of the money will be reimbursed by our employer), in the Ukraine where we will obtain new visas. Oh well, I've heard there are three must-visit cities in this neck of the woods, and after we go to the Ukraine we will have two down--Moscow and Kiev--and one to go--St. Petersburg, which we have had definite plans to visit since day one, and even more so after we became friends with a classmate from our our training class who lives there.

At the moment we have no telephone in our apartment. The men who came to install a special line for the internet somehow knocked out our phone. Ideally, by the end of the day on Monday we will have a phone again and internet access for the first time (unless you count the one time I got dial-up to work and it took about 5 minutes to load one webpage!). But in Russian time it could actually take weeks. Let's hope by the time we have our visa situation taken care of, everything else will be in order as well.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. We may have a Thanksgiving dinner here with our fellow Americans and any Russian friends who want to join in. It is a little hard getting all the right stuff since, of course, our Thanksgiving holiday is not celebrated here. Oh, I've seen some funny hats, but not any Pilgrim hats!

Stay tuned for more news from Bob and Dee's great adventure. Yesterday, for those unaware, we celebrated 23 years of marriage and 24 years since we met. In a way the weather here now is like that of our first winter together in Pennsylvania. Problem is winter doesn't officially begin for another month! I'm finally getting a lot of use out of the down-filled coat Dee bought me 18 years ago, the year before we moved from West Virginia to South carolina.

~PITTSBURGH starts with PITT!~

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