Russian traditions: "washing" the documents (e.g. Russian passport)

As I understand it, in Russia, whenever you receive important documents (e.g. passport) there is a tradition that you "wash" the documents with vodka. Then of course you drink the vodka.

Passports in Russia are of two types: domestic and international.

Everyone in Russia has a domestic passport and is required to carry it at all times. Not everyone has an international passport, which can be difficult to acquire and is required for travel abroad.

On this day, my friends Dmitry and Alexei and I traveled to Artyem, a blue-collar coal town about an hour's drive from the Pacific port city of Vladivostok. We were there so Dmitry could pick up his new international Russian passport. We then drove to a traditional Georgian restaurant, whereupon Alexei invented the tradition that those washing documents have to pay for lunch. The food was excellent, as was of course the vodka. Here Dmitry washes the passport.


Alexei during a pit stop on our way home from the restaurant. I've mentioned that Russians aren't always the friendliest people; however, when you do make friends with Russians, they are some of the coolest people imaginable, and Alexei and Dmitry are cases in point A and B (or D).


I taught Alexei and Dmitry the idiomatic American phrase, fuckin' A, the etyomology of which I did not know when they asked. I have heard that fuckin' A is short for fucking awesome, but I also read that it is short for the military phrase, affirmative (i.e. fucking affirmative). With no knowledge of the origin, I was unable to explain well how to best respond to fuckin' A.

I prefer Alexei's suggestion: fuckin' B!