"The country of my birth" Russia by GyuriFT

Russia Travel Guide: 15,218 reviews and 40,224 photos

Visiting my birthplace in 2014

The 2014 VT Euromeet in St. Peterburg was a good opportunity to see the country of my birth. My parents moved to Hungary in 1969 and I did not visit Russia since 1986. Strangely, most people consider me being neither American nor Hungarian... but Russian. Probably because I kept the language or for some other reasons I do not know.

Despite being a train promoter on the VT I decided to visit Russia by car this time, driving through Ukraine and Belarus.

I probably wouldn't do that if not many VT-ers canceling their travel plans due a baseless scare about the "safety" in Russia or due their political beliefs (it is 2014, the year of Crimea becoming part of Russia and Ukrainian crisis).

So there was I... with American passport... In Russia. "I am American" was not written on my forehead (in the fact everyone did address me in Russian everywhere) - but take a look at my car. Unlike me, the car had everything on it's forehead and it's back, included the mandatory "USA" country oval.

  • Last visit to Russia: Jun 2014
  • Intro Updated Jun 16, 2014
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Reviews (7)

Comments (6)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Very helpful page! Thank you for sharing!

    • GyuriFT's Profile Photo
      Jun 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      With Ukraine it was quite bad, too. I got a "very special" treatment on the border despite American passport + American car. It is enough for them to hear the accent (they can determine the place of birth with 100% and with about 50 km radius, i.e. exactly Bykovo and it's surroundings, about 35 km from the center of Moscow). After they hear the accent and open the (American) passport and see the birth country, the case is (for them) clear: this is a person to take the max. advantage of.
      Interestingly, the eastern part of the Ukraine is OK, the more west we go, the worse it is. Chop is by far the worst. Even that most people in Chop are Hungarians, the official representatives of Ukraine at the Chop border are artificially selected to be neither Russians nor Hungarians. They can't refuse to speak Russian - but if I try to talk Hungarian they stare at me with some animosity. That is despite in entire Zakarpatska Oblast' Ukrainian language is in minority, most people speak Slovenian, Hungarian and Russian. And newly Hungarian is banned, not only Russian. Crazy times.

    • Odiseya's Profile Photo
      Jun 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Yes, crazy in did but it is reality and we all have issues! It is good to be aware of those problems.

      I have some similar experience regarding how other people makes me feel because my identity and some bad treatment.

      Also, I would like to visit some places in region but I don't feel "safe" enough for now even I meet many "others" and I had very positive impression.
      All this traveling experience (virtual and real) helps me and it was strong evidence for me that I need to work on my "issues" and all what you write can and somehow did happens to me but it is OK it didn't prevent me to travel and that makes me grow as a person.

      Thank you for your explanation!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Thanks for your details! Very helpful! :-)

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Very interestig tips Thank you Gracias !!!

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    You certainly know your travel and the ticketing system. You said it was a hobby? Duh sveedarniya for now.

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    hey thanks again for great tips...cheers Denny..

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2007 at 2:23 AM

    Made 2 long train trips in Russia...St.Petersburg to Alma Ata . 4 days and nights. And St.Pete. to the Black Sea resort of Gagra, travelled to Adler. Of course many overnight trips to Moscow.Tim

GyuriFT Used To Live Here!


“provodnik i zajac: nu, provodnik... pogodi! ("rabbit" and the conductor)”

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