It’s a Friday night, 6 p.m., pitch black, minus-22 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m back in my hotel room in Vladimir, a small town 200 kilometers from Moscow, when I get a call from the receptionist asking me to come downstairs. She has “something to ask me.” Strangely, she refuses to speak on the phone and wants me to come to her.
When I see the five stern-looking men standing by the counter at reception, I realize that I should have stayed in my room. Two of them introduce themselves, badges in hand, as agents from the Federal Migration Service (F.M.S.). “Papers, please.” In Russia, foreigners must register with the police at every stop during their travels; hotels take care of the paperwork.… Seguir leyendo »