I only post this to, perhaps, encourage others to become somwhat more 'savvy',
There were 2 or 3 occasions when the Dnepr airport police tried the $20 scam on me, on the occasion mentioned above, having already dictated to them that under aviation law it was OK to travel in hold luggage, they claimed I had committed a Ukrainian offence by concealing it.
It only takes 2+2 to realise this was bullshit, when one buys in the shop it is already concealed by its packaging, if the shop put it in a bag, or gift wrap it, they are further concealing it, furthermore these are armed cops, am I really likely to walk up to them with an imitation firearm in hand???
Previously to this the, standard, $20 had been demanded from me in the communal area, prior to this incident there had been a new Ukrainian government whereas I had been informed that CCTV cameras had been installed in airports to stamp out this corruption, and, low and behold, I was taken to a side office (no cameras) before the $20 was written, not spoken, to me.
Ukraine is not one of these Asian countries where there is life imprisonment, or the death sentence, for a relatively minor drugs offence, it's not rocket science to figure that if one has committed any offence then one is formally arrested rather than $20 being asked for in one form or another and, as soon as one may be arrested, one asks to communicate with the consul of their country which will certainly stir up the shit.
That idiot 'nooga' claimed it was necessary to pay the police to be one's friends, bullshit, the police won't give a shit about one either way and once paid they'll try it on again and again for more and more, it's idiots like him that encourage the scamming of foreigners whereas the police could otherwise be standing on the roadside taking speeding bribes from their own people!
Ivor, I agree with you. One thing I do is to register with the state department - US embassy - when I travel abroad. It's a very simple process. They have a lot of information and they send email alerts on many subjects. For instance there was a protest at the government building in Kiev when I was there. I received an alert what it was about, when it was happening and to avoid it. Sure enough, right on schedule, it happened. It was no big deal but I stayed on the other side of the street. They have a lot of info on scams etc. It's a good resource and if you do happen to get into trouble, they have your contact info (emergency, relatives, lawyers etc) and all the info they need to help you out. Anyone traveling should have the local phone number to their embassy with them at all times. Even if it is just a simple trip to Ukraine, a seemingly harmless place to travel.
"I had an imititation firearm cigarette lighter, having worked in aviation for some 30 years I packed it in my 'hold' suitcase, at Dnepropetrovsk airport all suitcases go thru the x-ray upon which I was summons by the police and subsequently to a side office."
a few weeks ago I took a rear shock absorber for a Toyota Sequoya as Its far cheaper and easier to get in USA. you can only imagine! like they had never seen one before. "Big problem" they try to tell me "is it bomb? why it have wires?" (electronic stability control type)
Then of course it just certainly must be expensive enough to pay duty on it,lol.
made it through eventually by sticking to my story and that I only paid 120 bucks.
And TOTALLY agree with Ralph. ALWAYS register with embassy and provide all info in case of emergency. In case you get locked up or whatever. It saves valuable time especially if you suddenly dont have a passport. Also get trip insurance with medical evac. 40 bucks covers 2 weeks because you just never know what can happen.
If you have traveled often enough to Ukraine-Russia you have already experienced the "trauma" of your luggage not making the trip with you...Trip insurance:)
When I travelled back from Australia, routing via Singapore, I had a didgeridoo, it wouldn't fit in my suitcase so I was carrying it, wrapped in a black bin liner, with my hand luggage.
Going thru security in Singapore, after a few hours of Tiger beers in the business class lounge, I was questioned what this conspicuous looking object was, "It's a didgeridoo" I replied, they asked "It's a what?", I was about to repeat myself when I changed my reply to "It's a lump of phucking wood", putting it thru the x-ray they came back to me, smiling, saying "Yep, you're right". :)
Rick - yes, travel insurance with med-evac. priceless! did that too. never needed it, but then a case of a good ipa costs about the same.
Folks, put it all into perspective. In the long run it is money well spent.
ALWAYS REGISTER WITH YOUR EMBASSY. ALWAYS GET TRIP INSURANCE. As a bonus, when you register with the embassy it is confirmation that you traveled there. And should you eventually decide to get a K-1 visa for your gal there is a record that you actually visited her or at least the country.
For many a year I never bothered with insurance but when I started my own business I became involved in organising medical insurance for the workforce, shopping around I became aware that I can get an annual worldwide (excluding N. America) travel insurance, including emergency medical and dental insurance, for circa $100 a year ..... I went for it!
RB I have not been watching the forum much so did not see your question until now. At this point I am not really thinking of bringing another foreign lady in. I was 46 when I started this. I am 55 now and with that distance of a relationship there is not enough time to really check each other out before committing and there are nice women right here.
My x-wife is in Lincoln Nebraska. She is a single mother with all the free government programs as a battered woman. I believe she has also received her unconditional permanent residence with this status. I am sure it is a meager existence.
The Nebraska Court of Appeals overturned the restraining order, I got notice today. There last sentence in the conclusion was "We conclude that the district court's orders affirming the domestic abuse protection orders should be reversed, and we direct the district court to enter an order dismissing the domestic abuse protection orders against _________" and I removed my name at the end.
I think you are dreaming Ralph if you think ICE or DOHS is going to do anything. However this case was designated for permanent publication which means that in Nebraska it will set a precedence for the lower courts to make their decisions on. And hopefully they will start reserving the restraining orders for those who are in danger instead of those who want an advantage on immigration or a divorce settlement.
I remember the day the local sheriff showed up at my door with a restraining order. I asked what it was all about. ??? He said they do it all the time (it's a lawyer trick). I was aghast since there was no bases for it. It caused me a lot of problems but she never showed up for the hearing and it was dismissed - still caused a lot of trouble for me ...
Sooner or later men's rights will be championed. But being a middle class heterosexual white male with no criminal record I suppose I will always be a target.
Ah yes, the ol restraining order trick. One would think by now that courts across the country would be on to this trick by now. Its BS like this that gave us the ridiculous IMBRA law.
The overwhelming majority of girls that come to the USA via K1 get treated better than most all citizen women but because of a handful of high profile cases(representing less than .03% of all foreign marriages) Men are again discriminated against.
the worst part is that these girls know of this law and it is now just another tool in the scammer's toolbox for a free ride to the USA
oh yes, back to the original topic for a minute
DO OR DON'T??? ENCOURAGE WIFE TO ATTEND NEIGHBORHOOD JEWELRY DEMONSTRATION (or cosmetic etc.)
Since she was included I thought it would be a good opportunity to network a little. I told her she didn't have to buy anything but a small token purchase would be a decent gesture. So I am out in the backyard staining a table and she comes home with order form filled out for two outrageously priced pieces of junk jewelry. Then we have talk about it. She is funny cause she said she did not say 'good-bye' and she would return with a check. But offered 'I can just not go back and blame it on my not understanding English so well.' After some deliberation I changed the order to a couple of pos lapel pins to give my nieces. Then the debate started about going to these things. She said all of the jewelry was overpriced junk. SHE IS CORRECT. And that she could get good quality stuff much cheaper...
I suggested she have a lingerie party. But these ladies - well not the type. Maybe I get her into a group of young 30 somethings - they are always up for a hoot ;)
She wrote her first check yesterday - not a common thing in Russia. And the check was too complicated?
We went to dinner last night to celebrate six months here. We dressed nice casual - top quality clothes. The rest of the diners (except one older couple) were in jeans, t-shirts and many wore sandals or sneaks. She didn't say anything about it but she gave me the look - like once again Americans dress like slobs. But there was a cajun group playing (good music) and it seemed like most of the crowd was there for that. Just the chance we go into a place that has an authentic cajun band set up in the small dining room - I loved it and so did she. And the food was excellent! So today she is going to her first fiddle festival - she'll find out when she wakes up. She doesn't get it that when it's my turn I put 'BLUEGRASS JUNCTION' on the XM in the car. Today she will get to see a couple very good bluegrass bands, the same band from last night, three fiddle contests and sample open fire black iron cooking. :/-