Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday Adventure Part 1

In order to make our weekend go by faster I thought we'd get out on Saturday and run some errands. So, we headed to the city center which on a Saturday via transport is only 10-15 minutes away.
We rode our favorite mode of transport.....the tram. In Russian it's called, "tram-vy" but I would always say it wrong and call it "tram-by". After hearing me say it wrong for a long time my trusty friend Heather finally corrected me. I suppose it must have gotten on her nerves. Josiah looks so serious in this picture because there was a person inside a big yellow inflatable hippopotamus suit advertising something on the corner. Everyone on the tram was laughing and pointing at the poor person.

Our stop was right in front of my cell phone carrier's store which was very convenient since going there was on my to-do list.

Our cell phone carrier is MTC (MTS in English). There are no monthly phone plans here, it is a pay as you go system which is extremely convenient. There are kiosk machines everywhere you go where you punch in your cell phone number on the screen and insert however much money you want to give. My balance was actually negative and after a certain negative amount you can't make calls or send texts so I wanted to make sure I deposited enough money. We always try to go to a MTC store because you aren't charged an extra fee to deposit money whereas the kiosks in the malls and stores will charge you about a dollar tariff.

Then we were off to the post office to mail our thank you notes from Christmas! Yep, I'm that late. In my defense though going to the post office is a pain here. I have waited up to 1 hour just to get stamps on my mail. There are no machines to buy your stamps from. So we went to the city's main post office which has had a total makeover and is probably the nicest post office I have seen anywhere in the world. I went to a corner entrance where there was a small counter in a store and bought my mailing stamps there but after I bought them she tells me I had to go to the main entrance and get my letters stamped! I was like, what? So, we went to the main entrance and waited 25 minutes just to get my envelopes stamped with something I couldn't even make out or read. But, at least we got to see the beautiful office. As you come into the door you go to an automated kiosk and get a ticket with a number on it. Then you wait your turn. We had L179 and I noticed the workers were on L173 so I thought it would be real quick......yah right! Oh well. Thankfully the boys behaved.

I wish I could have taken more pictures but I didn't want to get yelled at. Plus I noticed there were hidden cameras above.

This post has gotten to long so I'll do a part 2 tomorrow!

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