Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For Those of You Coming After Us...Part 4 :)

Yes - I'm doing this post from Wisconsin :)  But there are a few things I wanted to type up before I get back in to the 'omigosh-we're-leaving-in-3-days' whirlwind :)

Anyhow - here are a few more things you should know!

+This is the word for 'money exchange'.  It will be totally obvious - because you'll see the exchange rates.  There are different rates depending on where you are in the city...if you feel the need to hunt around for the best rate - go for it.  But we just stopped at whichever was closest.

Something fairly new for the money exchange process - you MUST show your passport in order to exchange money.  They will NOT let you exchange without it.  So - carry your passport everywhere with you.  You shouldn't be leaving it at home, anyways - but always know where it is, and be ready to show it.  We heard before coming here that we should never, ever, EVER hand our passport over to anybody.  Well - that's true in all cases except money exchange.  They will take it from you - scan it, and then pass it back.  Don't freak out - they will give it back :) not give you passport to police, etc.

+The SDA and Referral Pick's no big deal.  It is nothing to be nervous about - and really, all you do is sit and listen to what Serge is translating about your child.  10 minutes, tops.

+The carry, or not to carry.  Some people say you must - must - must carry it with you wherever you go.  We did carry it with us for the first part of the trip, then by the end of the trip, we were leaving it at home (in a safe place) while we went out.  It's highly unlikely that someone will ask you for it - and it's pretty heavy to carry around when you're walking all over the place :)  So - this is up to you, but really - it's probably not something you need to have on you all the time.

+When we first stepped foot into the airport at our final destination - we were a little overwhelmed.  It's just a rush of people - nobody really speaks english - and all the signs are in cyrillic.  You need to go through passport control - which is a fairly easy process.  If you're filling out a form, you're probably in the wrong line.  All you should have to do is show your passport.  Our lady said "Frankfurt - K**v?".  We said 'yes' and passed on through.  It sounds like you used to have to present an address of where you were staying in the country - we didn't have to do this, but I would bring it along in your carryon just to be sure.  Since you won't know where you're staying, write down Yulia's address. that we're home, there are a few things that we will bring with us on our next trip!  Like...
                 A wash cloth
                 Pancake mix (in a double ziploc) and syrup packs
                 Lots & lots of instant oatmeal packs
                 Plenty of sleep aid & tylenol/excedrin


Also - just wanted to add, that no - I'm not an expert.  Far from it!  I'm just sharing our experiences, and what has worked for us.  It may not work for you.  And that's fine.  So - you can take it or leave it!

One Thing I Know For Sure: Can't wait to go back......!


  1. LOL - a washcloth! I forgot about that one. Vanya told us you will not find a washcloth in any bathroom in EE - just sponges...ok then. :-)

    Great post! 2 weeks there makes you an expert. :-)

  2. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for these kinds of posts. I am taking notes! I never would have thought to bring pancake mix - great idea.

  3. I am so excited that I have a new first-cousin-once-removed! I have been following along with your blog and am so happy for your family that everything is working out. Carter is so adorable! I just wanted to mention that you should leave the pancake mix in its original unopened container- customs will not allow you through with an unidentified powder nor with a labeled package that has been opened. Have a safe flight and bring that little guy home!


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