Quick update on my immediate future. I am leaving this Sunday, May 4, for Budapest Hungary. Two of my friends will accompany me. We will stay with my parents for 2 nights. On May 7, we will board a plane to St. Petersburg, Russia. We will stay there for 4 nights. We will take a train to Moscow, where we will stay 4 nights. We then board a train bound for Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. We will be on this train for 5 nights. I expect it to be never-ending excitement! We will stay in Ulaan Baatar for 5 nights. We will then fly to Beijing, finally arriving on May 24, AM. Is my math correct?
By the way, May 24 is my birthday. 22!
My 2 friends will stay until the 28th. I will remain for work. I am working for a company called IT United (www.ituc.com). My official title is: “R&D Consultant for Open Source Technologies” I am still not quite sure what all I will be doing, but it will involve Linux and programming. 🙂
It is a little past midnight here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I will go with my two friends to Chicago (~4 hour drive) to go to the Chinese Consulate to get our visas. There is a small hitch, though. The fastest service they provide is 24 hours. This means, the earliest we can get our visas will be May 1. Guess what May 1 is? Yes. a freaken Chinese holiday. grrr.. So, we will beg and plea, but I won’t be surprised if they say no. If this happens, we will need to try to get our visas in Budapest, Moscow, and then Ulaan Baatar. Otherwise, we are screwed.
You may be wondering why we didn’t get our visas sooner? Well, it took a few weeks to get our Russian visas. Basically, we got our passports (with the visas) back sometime last week. We planned on driving to Chicago this week, and it worked out that we would go on Wednesday and spend the night. Well, I booked a hotel 2 days ago not realizing that May 1, the consulate is closed. Crap. Well, we just realized this yesterday (Tuesday) at about 11:30. If we were able to hop in a car and drive there, it would be well past 2:30pm (at which time the visa office closes!). And if that isn’t crazy enough, it turns out the room I booked is non-refundable. We can’t cancle the damned thing.
One thing after another to make this trip a disaster. First, we had to cut out our travels around China due to SARS. Second, one of the guys planning on doing the Russia/Mongolia trip had his Russian visa rejected. I don’t think he is a spy… Now this. Jeez.