Wednesday, 12 March 2008

About immigration cards in Moscow

Tuesday evening, Moscow was our next stop. Engineering, Support, Internal IT, Professional Services -- as in Sweden, various MySQL departments were represented. Russia is a key personnel country for MySQL, and has been so for years. It's my third time with MySQL in Moscow, and it feels good to start being able to find Count Dolgorukyi, Arbat, St. Basil's Cathedral, Kremlin, the Red Square, and the Tverskaya Ulitsa.

So as not to bore you with repeating the MySQL on-boarding discussions we had, which were much the same as everywhere else, let me instead share our experience of how to login into Russia, and, more complicated, Marriott Grand Hotel on Tverskaya.

Scene 1: Yesterday, 15:00, Domodedovo airport, Rusaero Biznes Terminal.

  • Immigration lady: Do you need an immigration card?

  • We: Uhmm, if you say so

  • No further action, we depart from Domodedovo, which depending on traffic is between 60 and 120 minutes from the city

Scene 2: Yesterday, 16:30, Marriott Grand Hotel, Tverskaya.

  • Marriott check-in gentleman: Can I please have your immigration card?

  • We: Ehmm, we didn't get any!

  • Marriott guy: Surely you got one, at immigration, otherwise you wouldn't have got into the country!

  • We: Really, we didn't.

  • Marriott guy: So then I cannot register you into the hotel. It's the law.

  • We: OK, so what should we do?

  • Marriott guy: Go back to Domodedovo and get it!

  • We: But we're here only for tonight, it's five already, we have meetings!

  • Marriott guy: It's the law. We cannot register you.

  • Our local MySQLer (let's call him Misha Bulgakov) shows up: Hi! What's up?

  • ... explanations ... repeated firm statements from both parties ... time passes ... some of us get slightly nervous ... shall we sleep on Misha's floor? ... more time passes

  • Misha, in Russian, to the Marriott guy: What if I book the rooms?

  • Marriott guy: Uh, I suppose that would work.

  • ... investigations ...

  • Marriott Transport Desk: How can I help you?

  • Me: Can I book a taxi for tomorrow from here to Domodedovo Airport, tomorrow morning, room 1234, last name Arnö?

  • Marriott Transport Desk: Sure! But, what was the last name again?

  • Me: Uhmm ... Bulgakov!

  • Marriott Transport Desk: Right! No problem.

So, after Misha signing here and there, the Bulgakov party can continue and meet with the MySQLers at "our" office nearby, have excellent sushi at a Japanese restaurant, and take a walk to the Red Square.

Scene 3: Today, 8:30, Domodedovo airport, Rusaero Biznes Terminal.

  • Immigration lady: Privet!

  • We: Hey, you forgot to give us an immigration card yesterday. We couldn't check in to Marriott without it. We were in big trouble!

  • Immigration lady: Oh, what a pity.

  • We: It was slightly more than just a pity.

On we go. Izhevsk, here we come!


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