Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Moscow With Love

We have 24 hours per day and still people complain that they don't have enough time. But for me, I'll always find time to travel.But it gets annoying sometimes when people say it's because I have a lot of money when the reality is far from that.

All you have to do to travel are cutting costs and SAVE, SAVE and SAVE!

So it just happens.. that on the historic day, 21st of April 2014, which miraculously coincides with me receiving my salary and also "tunggakan dari Januari" for the increment in salary, that there was a Vietnam Airlines Sale on all international flights. There were flights to Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Moscow.. etc for rates under RM2,000!!

Say what?? Return flight tickets to Moscow for RM1,948.00??!!! I almost screamed in delirium. And many finger-tapping-on-keyboard moments later, I secured the tickets.

One month salary....swooooshhhh! Down the drain. Just like that! Days after the thoughtless purchase  resulted in me going out less and going hungry most of the time. I even resorted in borrowing my sister's scholarship money just to buy some much needed home essentials. Hahaha!

***fast forward to 26th September 2014***

My backpack was packed and ready to go. I printed all my train, bus, cruise, and flight tickets and would be heading to the airport right after work. It was just two weeks earlier that I was discharged from the hospital for acute eczema, and on that traveling day, without healing properly, I was going to be traveling again. My fingers and feet were wrapped with medicated bandages but I was determined to fly by hook or by crook. All those months of planning wasn't going to waste just like that. So Moscow here I come, sick girl goes traveling!

Praise to god, weather in Moscow has been good to me!  
OK... managed to write only a few paragraphs to update my pathetic blog. Hehe. Will try to update more, especially that part where I had to sleep at Hanoi's airport and waking up all alone in the departure hall!!

Till then, happy traveling! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Russian Embassy in Malaysia : What You Should Know

Thinking of heading to Russia? Well, to do that you must apply for a visa and it could be tricky. After three times visiting the Russian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to process my visa and observing many applicants there, here are some "important"  things that you need to know.

The Russian Embassy is located on Ampang Road.you wont get into this gate. There'll be a door on the right side where you have to queue outside in the sun.

 1. The official website is not updated. They say it takes 5 working days to process your visa. It's not accurate. Do stop by at the embassy to find out yourself. Prices there have also changed.

note: Mine was for a double entry. On the website, it says 5 days to process and costs RM210. It actually took 10 working days and costs RM262. You'll be given a slip like the one below once your application is accepted.

Do not glue this slip on anything when collecting your passport.

2. The embassy opens THREE times a week : Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Opening hours are from 9:30am to 1:00pm. I actually went there at 9:00am as you have to line up in front of their door before entering. Wednesdays has the less number of visitors. :)

3. Once you line up, the guards who controls the entrance door only lets FIVE people inside at a time. So be prepared to wait under the scorching sun before allowed entrance. :P

4. You can fill in your downloaded visa application form before coming to the embassy for submission. Fill the form completely and GLUE your passport picture on your form (they will try to pull your picture out to see if it sticks!) or you'll be asked to redo your form and do a lot of waiting... again.

5. If you look remotely Russian (Caucasian always gets in without queuing), the guards will let you in if you knock the door asking to enter.

6. Your application form should have these documents attached.
  • your passport with 6 month validity 
  • a passport-sized picture (background colored white or blue is not an issue)
  • Invitation letter (important! Else your application will be rejected!)
  • other documents as deemed necessary (flight tickets, hotel bookings paid in advance.. etc)
  • remember, the Consulate may request some extra documentation if it’s considered necessary.
7. If you are a foreigner or an expat, do not believe the website on the processing time. Do expect to submit your application at least three weeks before your trip to avoid disappointment. Unless if you know how to speak Russian, they will expedite your application faster.  (Met an European guy who could speak Russian, he successfully had his visa processed from two weeks to just two days. And on another occasion, saw this |American guy who was refused the same request. LOL)

Forewarned : Once inside and your documents checked by an Indian lady, you'll be given a number. The windows of the inside counter is not see-through. You can't see who you'd be talking to!!! LOL
8. Good luck!! And welcome to Russia!!

How to get there:
By car : There's no parking there. Closest FREE parking space is across the road, in front of a bank. (forgot the name)

By public transport : Could be reached from Ampang Park LRT Station, and from the front of the PNB/Tabung Haji building, you can easily catch a taxi to the embassy. Metered Taxi costs around RM4-5 one way.