Thursday, November 27, 2008

The flight

It took me just under 24 hours to get from the apartment where I live in Russia to my house in Massa- chusetts.

My flight was at 6am and I did not bother going to bed before leaving at 3:00. I have found that this method works best. In times when I tried to sleep for a few hours, I ended up with migraines.

I was thankful that the weather had calmed down enough for both the drive and the flight out of Russia to be smooth.

I'm not sure how the first flight went because I was asleep. After that I had a 5-hr wait in Frankfurt. During that time, I received a text from my boss-once again a little late. I'm not sure what is going on, but I'm praying for better communication. She was texting to tell me about the teacher training this Saturday, in St. Petersburg.

When I found my seat on the second plane, I had the window, the aisle seat was occupied by a Russian lady, and in the middle seat was a woman somewhere around my age. The Russian woman turned out to not speak English. I kept leaning over to see if I could help, but the woman in the middle seemed to be making do with sign language and a little German. The flight attendants came around with food and the middle woman acted out "chicken," flopping her arms, and "beef," making little horns. It seemed like they were getting along fine.

Later, we had to fill out Customs sheets while still on the plane. It seemed like the woman in the middle was having trouble getting across "surname" or "nationality." I leaned over and asked which question they were stuck on, then starting translating it into Russian. "Oh, you speak Russian! That's handy." Then we both helped the Russian woman fill out the rest of the form. After that, we all got to know each other a little bit. The Russian woman was going to visit her daughter who had moved to the U.S. recently. The American woman in the middle worked in Germany and was going home for Thanksgiving. I talked a little bit about what I do in Russia. That all helped the time pass a little more quickly.

For the rest of the flight I slept on and off or just sat there. I didn't watch the movie or even get out a book. Every once in a while, we reminded each other of the time. Three hours left! Sigh.

Towards the end, I watched the plane's progress on the monitor. We were in a holding pattern and I watched the plane's path make loops on the screen. Finally, we landed.

Customs was gloriously easy. I think I had an officer who was in training, as they told him that if he got stuck, he could just turn his booth off and wait for help. He was pretty young and didn't ask me anything too intense.

Finally I got my bags and my parents were waiting. We got home around 6pm and I managed to stay up until 9pm.

Definitely a non-eventful trip. Happy Thanksgiving!

4 comments:

  1. Welcome back. Happy Thanksgiving! You guys should all move to FL. It's amazing. Tomorrow afternoon will be around 70. And we are talking almost December! Anyway. Have not followed your blog for a while. What is it exactly Russia doing to the foreign missionaries?

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! I too was seated by a Russian speaking woman on my flight from Germany. It came in handy when she needed help with the forms and the food/drink cart. Wow you were able to sleep on the plane. I was awake the whole time. My body is still recuperating. Next time I will bring a good seat cushion.

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  3. Thanks, Vitali. 70 degrees does sound nice, although the New England fall is pretty.

    Russia isn't really "doing" anything to missionaries specifically, it's just getting harder for foreigners to remain in the country. You can read any of my posts labeled "visas" to catch up.

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  4. Mary, my body is still recuperating too. But I need less leg-room than most people, and like I said, I had stayed up all night, so sleep was inevitable!

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