In June, I’m off on a birding trip with Rubythroat Birding to Russia and Mongolia so, naturally, I need visas. Russia demands completion of a 7 page application and enough supportive paperwork to decorate a living room. Mongolia is the opposite…and some.
The gate is permanently locked of course, so you see SheWhoMustBeObeyed ringing the bell. Immediately a young Mongolian gentleman (no other word for it) opened up and escorted us into a dark waiting area. There were no other people at all.
He disappeared into an office to the side and returned with a single sheet double-sided form to complete. His Russian was good enough to ask for the fee and off he went with money, my passport and two photos.
SWMBO popped to the office to tell our polite Mongolian friend that I actually needed my passport to complete some of the form. He returned within 3 minutes. I had completed as much of the form as I could – it took all of 3 minutes. He took it from me, although I hadn’t yet completed my passport details or even looked overleaf, nodded pleasantly and disappeared.
Five minutes later he was back with change and passport – complete with visa.Unbelievable! What service! Can anyone beat this?
We were escorted politely through the outer gate and were back on the street within in no more than 10 minutes.
Hope getting through the border is as easy – but I know it isn’t: average time for both border posts (Russia and Mongolia) is 7 hours. And we have to do it twice. Ah well…