Now it was time, to enter the Motherland. Nothing has given me more headaches before the tour. 2009 we were separated and held at the border for 10 hours. In my head I imagined the worst scenarios. But this time almost everything should go smoothly.
At first they were pissed as usual and just kept talking to us in Russian. While they stamped all the passports, everybody except the driver had to leave the bus. I had to open all the doors but it was already 5 clock in the morning and the guards had absolutely no desire to unload the whole bus. I gave them our list of the entire back line in Russian. Now I was also allowed inside the building, joining the others, and a very friendly border guard asked me if I could speak English. That's on e thing i didn't expect!He helped me fill out the customs declaration which of course was only in Russian. A car full of musicians and half of them from some exotic country seemed a good catch so they let off two drug dogs. The spare tire mounted under the car seemed really interesting for one of the dogs. I showed myself cooperative and tried to remove it. Unfortunately, nothing was moving there, the mechanism of the wheel was completely broken, which sucked, of course, not only for the border guards. Going from Russia to Istanbul without a spare tire does sound kind of risky if you think about it. With the help from five border guards and the Ford Transit manual we tried several times to remove the spare tire but every attempt ended with the same result: failure. After a while they saw us for the harmless small boys we actually are and let us go. They even apologized politely in English for the spare tire action and off we were entering a country which shared a border with China.
The road to Petrozavodsk went through sparsely populated areas with large forests and not many people. Somehow the realization that we actually did enter Russia, the excitement mixed with the beautiful country side put us in a really good mood. Somehow i managed to drop the car jack during the border ceremony on my foot which at this moment was hurting like hell. I investigated during our first stop in Russia and my foot had the same color as the sky: beautiful blue!
Around 3 we finally arrived. The first thought everybody had the moment we entered the city must have been the question how fucked up this city actually is. We wondered what the always so concerned Putin would say, (which actually became an inside joke we always made when we spotted something really odd, dirty or fucked up), if he could see Russia how it really is with its decayed industries, impossible road conditions and clattering trolly buses. Borland, the organizer and his translator met us in the city center and lead us to a typical night club which turned out to be a restaurant. Borland seemed something like the hardcore straight edge godfather of this city owning several night clubs. We were treated like rock stars with appetizers, nice dinner, and Café Americano (whatever this is), even our coats were taken from us before the dinner. Just how you imagine Russia! After this amazing meal we did some sightseeing. Dasha gave us detailed information of every building road and famous figure who ever lived in Petrozavodsk. The Brazilian did what they do best: taking pictures with ladies on the market, tasting honey, and buying souvenirs. The show took place in a former weapon and tractor factory. The "Trashclub" was still completely under construction and covered in 1cm of dust. To take a good shit was quite impossible but at that moment we didn't care. We barely were able to start the intro and the crowd turned into one giant pit making every German hardcore show look like an indie disco in Berlin Friedrichshain. With boxing gloves and head high spin kicks the whole place was teared down from the moment we started until the moment we stopped. We could not believe what was going on there. An incredible show. Still.