1. This “random” search doesn’t feel very random.
There is nothing more intimidating than getting a once-over from a burly border guard. Of course officer, you may gladly search my train compartment for contraband. His psychotically crisp uniform and comically large hat instills the most paranoid of thoughts:
Why is his hat so big?
What did he do to earn all of those badges and stripes?
Why am I being singled out right now?
You stand in silence as your luggage and belongings get ransacked. Suddenly there is a mean German Shepherd at your heels. The angry canine has his nose all up in your food stash. It’s just instant noodles! The officer with the huge hat clucks his tongue and holds out his hand. Does he want a bribe? This has Locked Up Abroad written all over it.
You’re so nervous. You break out into a cold sweat and hand over some cash, not realizing that he only wanted to snack on some trail mix. Now you’re out 700 rubles. That hat isn’t so funny now.