After not much sleep last night, Zhenya got me up to finish my packing (clothes were hang drying) and have some breakfast before we headed out for the airport. My flight was scheduled at 11:15, and we wanted to leave the house around 8am. And here began our stressful journey to the airport—Russian style.
Enter Russian Bureaucracy & Rules. Grisha needed to be brought to the kindergarten this morning to be taken care of during the day. Zhenya headed out 20 minutes later than we had planned and took Grisha to the kindergarten. We then got a phone call that he had arrived at the kindergarten but Grisha was not being accepted because he didn’t have a receipt of medical history stating that he was healthy during his two week absence. It was a different teacher than normal, so she wouldn’t budge. They tried to call a different teacher to have her vouch for Grisha’s health—especially since he looked like such a healthy boy. Finally, they bent the rules to accept him based on the previous teacher’s ‘recommendation’, but are required to bring documentation of his health tomorrow AM—meaning that he will have to be brought to the hospital tonight to get his receipt of health –OR—simply buy one for 500 rubles.
At this point, I was getting nervous as it was already 8:30 before I headed out to meet Zhenya at the station. Luckly, we met there shortly after I arrived and we started on our journey. Our original plan was to take the Aeroexpress but it only leaves once an hour so we changed our plan to ride the metro to the end of the line and get a bus to take us directly to the airport. This made me nervous again because of traffic jams during morning rush hour. It did seem like it would be ok since we were leaving the city instead of coming in.
After we got into a shuttle to the airport, we headed off and were making good time. It was about 9:45 at this point and I was feeling a little calmer about being on time since I could check in. Though, getting through security, and the entrance was in the back of my mind. Right when I was relaxing I hear a strange noise, and look at Zhenya thinking, you have got to be kidding me. Was that a flat tire I hear? We start pulling off the road and voila, a pancake flat tire. Everyone out of the van and let’s hang out on the side of the road until the next van comes.
Enter Random Russian Hitchhiking. All of a sudden we were out of the van and a nice car pulled over letting a woman from our van in—Zhenya ran over and apparently worked out a deal for us to get a ride with them and we were back on our way to the airport.
Once we arrived, we ran for the door and went through security and to the checkin counter. Luckily not one person was in line, and I was checked in and baggage taken all within about 5 minutes. Now we said our goodbyes and I went off to the gate to make sure I’m there on time for the flight.