Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tony, Manly to Sydney Airport, 95 dollars

The alarm went off at 4.30 this morning. A little bit earlier then I normally go up. At 4.55 the taxi driver was waiting outside as the sun was rising.

"Good morning! "
As I was opening the passenger door the driver had to remove his stuff. Not too many people go in the front, but I always do that. We start chatting and after a while he asks

"What is that accent of yours?"
"Aha - I have been to Sweden"
"Have you, when was that? "
"That was in year 2000. I toured Scandinavia and Russia. "
"Where abouts in Sweden? "
And he starts telling me about his trip that started in Berlin and went into Denmark, Norway, Sweden and then into Russia.

"18 months later I returned to Russia. There were places I wanted to see. I asked one of my drivers that was Russian if he could find me a minder. Straight away he said
- My brother. You will have no problems with him!
So I went to Russia and travelled with his brother. In Russia at that time there was control points at every 50 ticks. The minder told me that we only had to stop at the first control, and then there would be no more stops. So we are getting closer to the first control with a lot of guards and they stop us and ask for our papers. They get our papers and look at them. Then they start screaming and out comes the police along with other guards! They all start arguing and look at the papers. Then we get the papers back and they all salute us. It turns out that my minder used to be a KGB general! We get back in the car and start driving. When we approach the next control nobody stops us, everybody stands in  a row and salute us as we are going pass. I had a great time with my minder and felt very safe. We had no problems getting rooms even if hotels were full either. Great trip. "

Tony stops at the aiport and we wish each other a great day. I again feel excited over these amazing people with their amazing stories I keep meeting in a taxi. And I am reminded of a quote from one of my friends who is constantly travelling: "The joy in travelling is the people you meet"