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jasta

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Since 2009 in the "shitty basement" days. Things were a little different back then...

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jasta

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I found myself playing less and less the further into uni. Mostly due to training and coursework. I've started making up for it by taking my 3DS, Vita or even just a 360 controller in my bag with me. This way when I get sick of work I can get in a couple 30 mins to an hour sessions a day.

I travel throughout the summer months most of the time and have always taken either my 3DS or Vita with me.

Regardless of how much or little I play I always stay up-to-date with everything going on in the industry.

Currently in Pai, Thailand playing Final Fantasy X remake on my Vita. Things could certainly be worse.

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jasta

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"Summer in Scotland"

Well that was your first mistake, we don't have a summer in Scotland.

Agreed, just varying degrees of lukewarm.

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jasta

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That's very cool that you got to see the Ukranian/American girl find her family's house.

Was the tour pretty well-oiled and legit-feeling, or was it a kinda shady "well, we're following this guy now" sort of thing?

We got to see a lot more of the Chernobyl village along the way, they don't usually let visitors wander around there since the buildings are in bad shape. However, because of our unique circumstances we got to go hunting for her house, which was awesome!

It was by no means shady but at the same time it definitely didn't feel "legit". It was us, our driver and the guide in a fairly modest mini-van. No production value of any kind if that's what you are thinking of. However, you have to get permission from the government to enter the exclusion zone, so to get us the paperwork I reckon they must know what they are doing.

The guide was maybe 22-23 years old and was just a regular dude. Said he had seen some cool stuff passing through in his time doing the job.

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jasta

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@boxxybae said:

@jasta: How much did it cost you to be able to walk around their? It always is interesting to me reading about how people take bribes to let them do more.

The areas that we were walking around are safe, and by safe I mean radiation is not really an issue. Of course, these are abandoned buildings not in the best of shape, so we still had to be careful. Glass was absolutely everywhere so watching your footing was important. Slip and fall and for sure you were going to get cut, it's not the most ideal place to get injured.

Fun fact: The reason all of the windows in Pripyat are broken is because they were lined with a type of metal which is quite valuable. So as soon as the area was safe enough to return, the government sent in people to retrieve this metal. Given the context of the operation they just caved in the windows and didn't bother clearing up afterwards, hence the huge amounts of glass lying around everywhere.

When we got to the high school our guide said to us its difficult to do a tour of the school since it's quite big and a lot of it is very similar. So he told us to go explore all we wanted and meet him out front in 40 mins and would move on. That was great since I figured it would be very curated and it was in fact quite the opposite.

None of this cost any extra. So long as you don't go around eating the vegetation or act like a total ass you'll be fine.

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@mjhwwbg said:

The radioactive fish seem crazy!

I read a bit more about them and turns out the only reason the get so large is because they have no natural predators and no one wants to catch them. They eat the sediment at the bottom of the river, most of which is contaminated, so it's understandable no one wants to take it home for dinner.

@dimi3je said:

Hope you had a good time in Belgrade!

Yes I did! I was there for about 10 days, stayed right next to Republic Square. They had these huge robot statues dotted around the area. Any idea what that was about? Also, there was this beer festival down by the river (the one lined with bars and people swimming. I can't remember the name) and an ACDC tribute band played later on at night. It was incredible, loads of good memories from Belgrade.

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jasta

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#7  Edited By jasta

@omgfather said:

This is amazing, thanks for sharing!

Were you allowed to sit and touch on that ferris wheel? Seems like that'd give you some rads.

Do you have to wash your clothes big time when done?

I jokingly said to our guide "Can I have a go on the ferris wheel, please?" expecting him to shut me down, but to my surprise was like yeah sure go for it.

We stood on these scanners at the checkpoint on the way out of the exclusion zone.

No Caption Provided

You placed your hands on the plates either side and stood there until it went green, which meant you were good. I asked the guide if anyone had to get hosed down on the way out, but the most anyone has ever had to do on his watch is leave some clothing behind.

@dudeglove said:

That thing isn't so much a hangar but a replacement "sarcophagus". Reactor 4's current thingy (which they basically threw lead sheets and cement over) won't last much longer and they need to get that thing covered up again soon.

Cheernobyl was such an utter mess. Skeleton crew trying to perform tests combined with likely typical muzhik dumbassery and the week or so of silence afterwards was just... Look, basically most of Europe (and Kiev) is REAL lucky the wind was blowing the other way that day. Also there was a helicopter that straight up crashed there during the rescue/containment effort. It's a shame you missed the Chernobyl museum (which is in Kiev) where you can gawp at the outfits folk wore and the hundreds of photos of the place.

I only use that description as to any bystander it would just look like a standard aircraft hangar, I never asked what it was made from. If I remember correctly the current covers "use by date" if you will, has already passed and has been leaking for years. I'm not going to lie I had to google what "muzhik" meant but seems like a pretty spot on description of the whole operation.

I heard the museum was meant to be great but I had to meet people in Poland and never had time to visit.

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@shindig said:

I'd consider it if they could finally figure out what to do with the reactor lid.

They have constructed a huge hangar that sits on some tracks that they will slide over the existing reactor. From there they are going to use robotic arms to dismantle the the rest of it from inside the hangar.

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jasta

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@yummylee said:

Great blog! Reminds me of the days when people used to actually blog about their life and what they got up to on here.

Also, I genuinely have no idea what game it is that's being referenced. I assume it's a Call of Duty? I haven't played a single one myself besides a couple minutes of World at War. You said ''very popular'' so I discounted the likes of the Metro and STALKER series, which are much more niche.

It was a reference to the sniper mission in COD4, it takes place in Pripyat. I made a side by side comparison of a photo I took and the level in the game. The developers for sure visited the town, the modelling is just too good.

I'd finish Stalker if it would stop crashing on me. Metro is still on the pile though!

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jasta

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@icytower38: Don't let them stop you mate, you'd be fine on your own. Throw yourself into these things 9/10 you'll land on your feet.