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After a very unpleasant start to the day (our airport shuttle arrived 40 minutes early and insisted that we had to leave RIGHT THEN or we would be left behind) I had an uneventful flight to St. Petersburg yesterday. I got a little nervous at the airport, because the gates were poorly marked, and I went to the one I was told to go to, but 15 minutes after boarding was supposed to begin there were very few people in the area and none who looked or sounded Russian. But gradually, they trickled in, along with about 30 Chinese tourists. We finally started boarding at the time the plane was supposed to take off, but whatever. As I told Aunt Kelly last night, the thing about Russia is that nothing works the way it’s supposed to and it’s always a complicated pain in the ass, but it usually turns out OK in the end.

We got a meal on the flight, even though it was only 2 hours 40 minutes. When she got to my row, the stewardess said something to me, which I didn’t hear, so I leaned over, expecting to hear the meal choices or something. “Vibori net,” she said. (No choice.) I laughed to myself, as it sounded like a Russian joke. Why say anything, then, if there are no choices? Just give me the tray! The food was good, though, better than on an American airline. I’d rather have no choice if the offering is good than a thousand crappy choices, and that is why I am a shitty American rather than a Shit American.

Once we got below the clouds I could see that there was snow everywhere, and we landed on a snowy runway, which inspired me to clap right along with the Russians upon our successful landing. Apparently the first snow of the season had arrived just to greet me. There were no customs hassles, and Aunt Kelly and Miron her assistant were there to greet me. Traffic was heavy on account of it being rush hour and snowy. Since I’ve only been here in the summer, it was exciting to see the city in the snow. It covers up all the dirt and makes it rather magical.

We’re currently residing in a hotel, but supposedly we move into our apartment tomorrow. I’m looking forward to having a home, and Aunt Kelly is even more so since she’s been homeless for a month, but I’m quite OK with a nice hotel after staying in two-stars in France! Like, the shower head is attached to the wall AND there’s a shower curtain! (Terry and I stayed in 7 different hotel rooms in France and only one had a shower curtain.)

So the first order of business is to get some good boots and a warm coat. I did a little window shopping this morning, and did manage to find some Russian-made coats that were in the reasonably affordable range after nearly having a heart attack looking at the western designer boutiques. But I think I need Aunt Kelly to come shopping with me to help me pick out a coat so I don’t wind up looking like a sausage. I’m warm enough for now, anyway. It’s not twenty below yet.

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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November 2004