Goodbye Moscow!

This morning we got up and I got my things together. Evgeny and I had breakfast while Masha and Grisha were still sleeping. The end of my trip this time was quite sad, because being around lifelong friends, seeing new places, eating new food, all makes the time fly past so quickly. The sad thing about going to such a far place, is knowing that it will be a bit of time again before we get to meet again.

I left them a letter thanking them for their hospitality and a gift card to their favorite restaurant: TGIFriday’s. Evgeny and I drove to Sheremetyevo, and had a small snack at the bar. I had forgone buying the vodka I wanted to bring home because I didn’t have room in my suitcase, so I figured I’d just go to DutyFree to purchase it there. So after our snack, Evgeny and I bid farewell. Memories of my first trip came flushing back where his father, mother, sister, he and I were standing in line watching me leave. That was definitely a turning point in my life 10 years ago.

As I waited in line for ticketing, I finally had my bag searched. I would usually think this is bad luck, but amazingly, they were checking every single person’s baggage. And not only did they open it, but they completely ransacked it. Oddly enough, they didn’t question the 18 cans of Nivea spray deodorant that I can’t buy in the US. That to me would have screamed, SUSPICIOUS, but nonetheless, they were more interested in the amount of chocolate and candies I was bringing home. At the checkin, I was shocked to see a sign that said, ‘ATTENTION: Travelers to the US cannot bring any DUTY FREE liquids on board’. My mouth dropped. I wanted to bring some friends some original vodka from Russia and alas, now I should have just stuffed it in my luggage. I was so disappointed, especially considering that if it was Duty Free, you can usually bring liquid to the US from other countries. Traveling, I’m afraid, has definitely lost the charm it once had. I can only wonder 5 years down the road, how troublesome boarding a flight will be.

After this disappointing news, I had to figure out what to do with almost the $150 worth of Ruble I still had saved for buying vodka. What’s the next best thing? Chocolate J I bought some chocolate and wandered the airport til it was time to board.

Good ol’ Delta. The crappiest plane made me question if even Aeroflot had been more comfortable. There was only tiny tv’s above every 10 rows or so that showed a movie. Since it was day time, of course I spent the entire flight awake.

After landing in New York, I went through immigration/customs, and then wheeled by baggage to the transfer area. I had the funniest feeling as I watched my baggage sit there, tired from its flight just wanting to be picked up onto that conveyor belt to be stowed away in the appropriate plane bound for San Francisco. I waited and stared at the guy whose job was to do this, but alas, he was too busy chatting with another employee. I was too hungry to wait any longer so I headed for the gates.

I stood in line for about 30 minutes for Burger King, to the point of my flight having final boarding calling before I even got to order. I ended up not getting to eat anything, so I was concerned about now the 7 more hours that I had to travel to get back to San Francisco.

I’m thinking that delirium sets in even faster at high altitudes, because this flight seemed to go by faster. It was night time, seats were definitely more comfortable, and there was actually satellite TV on board. Bravo Delta for coming up to speed in at least one of your planes. Once we landed however, I was one of the first at the baggage claim area. Waiting, waiting and waiting, finally it began to turn, dropping off seemingly everyone else’s baggage first. Until there were no more. Of course! My poor baggage sat through that man’s conversation, as well as probably a lunch and a break, completely ignored and abandoned. Therefore, I had to stand in line again to wait to submit a claim. At least it was on my way home so I had clothes, toiletries etc waiting for me there.

All in all, I safely arrived back, from one of the most memorable trips to Moscow.

One thought on “Goodbye Moscow!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *