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Russia update!

February 4, 2013

I made it safely to Domodedovo a few hours ago and oh, I have so much to write. We’ll see if I can stay awake long enough to write it all down. I am trying to stay awake until a “normal” bedtime so that I can get on a normal schedule right away, so about 30 minutes after I made it to the Reasoners’ house, I set off with Mrs. Reasoner to walk to the English school. She is covering Hannah’s class tonight, so I decided to come so that I could have access to the internet, and also this will keep me awake. Although, I am falling asleep right now. It has been a long day(s)! Hopefully this post will make some sense even though my brain is so foggy.

My first two flights were uneventful and my last flight was really nice. I had put in a request for a window seat since I was unable to pick a seat ahead of time, and thankfully was given one! The man in the middle seat was from India and he was just delightful to talk to. He sounded Indian, but he was so light-skinned (white!) and had blue eyes that it was hard to believe he was Indian. He must have some interesting family heritage…Anyways, he had requested an aisle seat, and since they had one, they moved him before we took off. So that meant an extra seat between me and the Vietnamese woman (who told me “I am Vietnam” haha) I was sad to see him go since I was enjoying talking with him, but happy for the extra room! The Vietnamese woman told me that we could take turns using the space to sleep, but she ended up taking the space almost the whole time and then kept putting her feet on me while trying to stretch out over the entire space (my seat included). So any time I tried to sleep I was awakened by her feet sliding under my arm rest. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much. =( I am regretting it now as I sit here falling asleep!

As we approached the airport, they announced that due to heavy traffic and low visibility we would have to wait 20 minutes to land. When we finally started our descent, I could see beautiful forests of snow-covered trees. I should have gotten out the iPhone and taken pictures but I didn’t think about till it was too late. I tried to get a picture out the window after we landed, but then the moisture on the window made it hard to take pictures.

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I was curious as to why the flight attendants hadn’t been handing out customs forms, so I asked about them and was told I didn’t need them! I was shocked. I have never flown into another country and not needed a customs form, and this was Russia of all places!

I breezed through immigration with no lines and no hassle and went to find my bags. This is what I found when I found them:

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Soaking wet bags with snow even still on them! Thankfully they had LOTS of luggage carts available, and they were free, too!

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After getting my bags I made my way to customs, thinking that maybe this line would give me more trouble than immigration. After all, I had heard lots about Russian bureaucracy. But when I got to customs there was nothing to stop at, we all just walked through. I was incredulous. This was the easiest immigration and customs I had ever been through! Later on the Reasoners explained to me that this airport is easy because it’s a private airport, but the other government-run airports will give you more trouble. Now I know, always fly into DME when you come to Moscow!

After getting through customs, I easily found Ana and her mother. I was glad it was easy since we hadn’t finalized anything as far as meeting up and I wasn’t sure how we would find each other. They helped me push my overloaded cart out to the car through the snowy roads and falling snow. I was completely soaked by thick, wet flakes by the time we made it to the car. I had only bothered to pull boots out of  my bag (which was a very good idea!) and a coat, but no hat or gloves.

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Ana and I

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We loaded all the luggage into their car and headed out on the snowy roads. Ana navigated while her mom drove and as we got near to where we thought the Reasoner’s house was, we came upon a police car stuck in the snow. We had to back up for them to go by after they got unstuck.

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Police car stuck in the snow

Just minutes after this, we made a right turn and got stuck ourselves. And were stuck good. Ana and I tried to push to no avail. The car was wedged onto a deep snowbank and there was no way we could drive out. There were shovels nearby so Ana’s mom started shoveling and I went to get my gloves out of my suitcase so that I could help. But I was only able to find one glove so I quickly started to get very cold and wet. By this time several passersby had stopped to help, and they started shoveling the snow from under the car. We still couldn’t get it out. Then a car came by and was able to pull us out. I am so thankful for those people because who knows how long we would have been stuck there otherwise.

While we were stuck in the snow I was wishing I had my real camera easily accessible (all of the photos in this post were taken with the iPhone.) because all of the snow-covered trees were so beautiful!

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After we got unstuck we easily found the Reasoners’ house and unloaded all my luggage and dragged it up the stairs. By this point my previously straightened hair had all curled and my bangs were dripping in my eyes, along with my mascara. I felt like something the cat had dragged in.

We spent a little bit of time having tea and cookies and talking before Ana and her mom had to run so we said goodbye to them and Mrs. Reasoner said she  had to leave in 15 minutes to go cover Hannah’s English class. I was tempted to stay and venture out around the house to take pictures but it was still snowing and hard to take pictures. Plus I wanted to make myself stay awake and also I wanted to use the internet. The internet at their house is out right now, so if I wanted to contact everyone, I had to go to school.

So I quickly bundled up and grabbed my laptop and camera (which turned out to be unnecessary due to the continuously falling snow) and headed out the door to walk to school. She had told me that it was about a mile, but it felt much longer. Probably due to the conditions and the fact that we were walking somewhat slow. I ended up completely covered in snow and by this point all of my mascara had completely run off of my eyelashes and had left little black pieces around my face. We trudged on and on, and I was so thankful for my sturdy boots from Wisconsin!

We finally made it to class and that’s where I am now, sitting in class while she teaches. And I am falling asleep. I don’t know how I will stay up two more hours until she is finished. Perhaps I will go back to the little teachers’ room and put my head down on the desk and sleep until she is finished. My body feels completely devoid of strength right now and my eyes are so heavy.

That’s basically the trip in a nutshell.

I will write more and hopefully take some better pictures soon.
Can’t wait to get back home and go straight to bed!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2013 9:14 am

    Your trip would have been rather uneventful if not for getting stuck in the snow! 🙂 Yay for your nice WI boots. 🙂

  2. February 4, 2013 11:44 am

    Happy to hear your trip was mostly easy!

  3. michellemajor2013 permalink
    February 4, 2013 5:23 pm

    So adventures already.

  4. February 4, 2013 6:20 pm

    Glad you made it safely. Praying for you!

  5. February 6, 2013 2:25 am

    Thanks, all! =) I appreciate the prayers!!

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