Saturday, June 05, 2004

Time To Fly

This will be my last post from Russia, unless I get inspired again after I hit the button to publish it. We've checked out of the hotel and are relaxing briefly at the Internet cafe before heading to the airport. It's about noon now, and I figure we'll leave here at about 1 p.m. The trek to the airport is about an hour, so that will give us three hours at the airport before departure time.

I'm not looking forward to the 12-plus hours on airplanes and the changeover at Heathrow. I hope the shorter leg from Moscow to London will not be too bad. On the way here, there were very few people on that flight, so Jeff and I each had an entire row to stretch our legs and relax. We may not be so lucky today, however, because it's Saturday, potentially a busier travel day.

The leg from London to Dulles will be dreadfully painful on the legs and back, if our first experience is any indication. We flew a much larger jet on that trip, but almost every seat was taken. The movies didn't serve as a good distraction, either (you can only watch "Welcome to Mooseport" so many times, and the other selections were pitiful). The selection for the return trip looked much better -- the first two parts of "Lord of the Rings" -- so I hope that hasn't changed in two weeks. Maybe I can watch both episodes. I'll be thinking of you if I do, Mom.

This morning, I went back to the streetside shopping area near the mall. We went there yesterday and I bought my hat for a mere 150 rubles ($5), plus the guy threw in an extra pin for the hat. Jeff took my photo, and the man at the stand jumped in and threw his arm around me. Guess he wanted to be in the picture with the Russky Redneck, too!

I came with suitcases full of vitamins, clothes for a young boy and other gifts for the brethren in Russia, and I'm returning with my suitcases even more full of trinkets. Everything is so cheap here I just couldn't help but buy. I'm not even sure who will get all of the gifts yet. I'll probably have extras.

I couldn't find a t-shirt or sweatshirt for you, Dad. They had a really cool "McLenin" t-shirt. It featured one of Russia's most infamous leaders cast against the famous McDonald's "M" on the front and the phrase "The Party Is Over" on the back, with an image of the Soviet symbol cracking and going up in flames. But they only had medium and extra large at every stand, and neither looked like they would fit. I got you another souvenir, though, and I'm pretty sure you'll like it.

And I got you a cool book, Mom. It's in Russian, so you won't be able to read it. But you probably know the book by heart anyway, and I thought it would make a nifty conversation piece. Maybe I've given it away now.

Well, I'm about out of time on the computer, so I better post. Love you all, and I can't wait to see everyone.


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