Ahamed don’t go to Russia. You will die. Russians are not good, they are rude and angry. They will kill you. It’s too cold in Russia, you won’t survive. Russians don’t like brownies. What else??
Well these are some interesting comments that I heard when I told my colleagues and friends in UK about my plan for Sochi 2014 Winter Games. Was I scared? Surprisingly NO. I was trying to find out why I was not scared about my visit to Sochi, Russia. Here are some reasons that I found:
- · Russia helped Bangladesh during 1971 liberation war
- · It’s an international games and Russia will be careful whit those negative feelings about them
- · I have a Russian friend in London. We did MBA together at Heriot-Watt University and he was not scary
- · What else??? I can’t think of anything else.
Well after hearing all those nice comments about Russia and Russians my wish to go to Russia and check out the situation increased. I was determined that I will go and see it through.
As I worked for London 2012 Olympic and Paralymic Games as a Games Maker, it was an easy process for me and was an easy decision for the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee to decide on my application. Surprisingly they have chosen me for the Paralympic Games only.
I was a bit confused about the Russian visa as I heard that they are very strict and refuse visa but like all international volunteers I was invited by the Russian foreign ministry. Applied at their visa application center in London on 14th of January 2014 and received it by 21st of January. Easy without any complication (those who applied for UK and US visa know what complication is all about).
I knew that my UK visa is going to run out by 28th of February (decided not to extend from London, I will apply from Bangladesh) and I have to leave UK before that. So I bought the ticket from London Heathrow to Istanbul on 24th of February > Istanbul to Sochi on 25th then stay there like 26 days for the games. Bought the return on 21st of March to Istanbul and stay there for 3 days before I fly to Bangladesh. That was the plan.
Sent all my stuffs to Bangladesh through cargo at the end of January as I will be travelling to different places. Was ready and waiting for the special day (24/02/2014) to come.
|Fishing at Black see. About 1000 steps from my hotel OMEGA|
Stay tuned to find out what happened with me in Russia………
< To be continued >