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View Diary: Elton John berates Russia for their treatment of LGBT's (34 comments)

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  •  We were ultra discreet in Russia last year (4+ / 0-)

    Mind you, we were only visiting for two days, not trying to live or work there, and we were not permitted to go out into the local night life.

    But even going through Customs to enter the country officially, we went through separate lines just to avoid any connections.

    Better safe than sorry.

    There's no such thing as a Free Information Kit. There is, however, advertising.

    by lotac on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:07:45 AM PST

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    •  That's worse than it was in the early 90's, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotac, Horace Boothroyd III

      and having visited nearly every eastern European Communist country save Russia back in the 80's, customs was never THAT bad. I fear US Customs more than I fear Russian Customs, though perhaps I need to make another trip and revise my opinion.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:12:03 AM PST

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    •  And by the way, the only real harrassment I have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotac, Horace Boothroyd III

      ever experienced at a border has been....wait for it....
      CANADA.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:13:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Canada Customs never gave me trouble (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Horace Boothroyd III

        They are rolling out a new kiosk system, that may at this time be only for Canadian residents. It started in Vancouver a couple of years ago. You approach the kiosk, scan your passport into the slot, and insert the immigration card that you filled out on the flight in. It gives you a printed receipt and facscimile of the card, which you then show to a single officer on the way out the door. Unless there's something particular the system has decided you need to be inspected for, showing the officer your receipt is the only human contact in the process. It is ultra-fast.

        There's no such thing as a Free Information Kit. There is, however, advertising.

        by lotac on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:18:48 AM PST

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      •  It happened several times, but the last time I (3+ / 0-)

        crossed the border with my kossack friend mayim, by car, we were detained for nearly an hour. They took our passports (didn't search the car, though) and made us wait. We both speak a little French, which helped, and to the credit of the border guards, they apologized.

        But they were watching us: when we left, and were on our way back to the border station, we were followed by the provincial police for about 20 km. I have no idea why unless they were looking for someone driving a car like the one we were in or that they knew that I had been active in the Occupy movement.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:20:37 AM PST

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        •  American Drivers (3+ / 0-)

          I crossed the NY/Ontario border many times, by every mode except walking. Flight was like a high-five and a smile. Train was nothing, though they stop the entire train to spend 30 seconds with each passenger, which takes hours. Bus required everyone to trudge off, thru the office, and back on, with some hassling. By car not infrequently came with some serious hassling.

          After a while I put it all down to the Americans they deal with in each mode. After seeing some of the scum and idiots on the cheaper, more impulsive, and more local modes, I realized who I was traveling among.

          Still no excuse for any unprofessionalism (or not having agents board at the last stop before the border to check while moving). But I wouldn't want to have to keep my cool with the kind of public they deal with.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:28:03 AM PST

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