Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Long Road Home

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Weather: Dark

We had to get up around 2:30 AM, Moscow time to get to the airport for our 4:30 AM flight. 2:30 AM in Moscow is around 6:30 PM the day before on the east coast. Security at the airport was rather cursory, with minimal customs requirements to depart. The particular airport for our flight was built for the 1980 Olympics. It didn't appear to have gotten much attention since it was built.

Again aboard Lufthansa's steerage class share partner to Frankfurt, we had an unremarkable flight. Upon arrival in Frankfurt, many of us were surprised to learn we would have to go through screening once again before boarding the flight to Atlanta. Most surprised were those who had made vodka purchases in the Moscow duty-free shops. Apparently, the Germans don't trust Russian security procedures (and I can understand why). Several bottles ended up in the large trash bins next to the screening area.

John's cold has continued to degrade and he's feeling worse and worse as time goes on. I gave him my last cough drops and the last of my kleenex. Both were gone before we got over the Atlantic. As much as I tried, I couldn't manage to sleep. Poor John couldn't either.

By the time we landed at 2:40 PM in Atlanta, we were both looking worse for wear. The customs entry took another hour and a half, including yet another security screening. By the time we got on the bus for Columbia it was almost 5:00 PM. Having had little to eat on the plane other than a couple of protein bars, I was starved. I found a Wendy's in the airport food court and had a small feast.

On the bus, our tour leader drags out some kind of recording that pulls various pieces of Tchaikovsky music strung along with a story of Tchaikovsky's visit to the US to conduct at Carnegie Hall. She was enthralled. John and I went from bemusement to boredom quickly. Thank goodness I had my iPod.

I finally got back to my parents' house around 9:30 PM, twenty-seven hours from the time I got up in Moscow. What a trip!

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