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Arrival in Russia by Mark Preston

Posted by ghudson on June 6th, 2006

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Greetings from Moscow! After taking off from New York traveling 5000 miles across the Atlantic, we landed tired yet ready to take on an exciting new adventure. Fortunately a flight that was supposed to last 10 hours only took 8 due to a generous tail wind. The plane was rather cramped, the food decent, yet there was a sense of energy from our group that seemed to go hand in hand with the rising sun off in the distance. As we landed many of us were shocked to see Russians leaping out of their seats pushing their way through American tourists sitting patiently, making for the doors, and stern flight attendants running back yelling “sit the heck down!” It didn’t take us long to realize that the people over here cut to the chase and don’t like to mess around..oops there go the manners.

Upon arrival in Sheremyetyevo, one of Moscow’s smallest utilitarian airports on the outskirts of the city, the entire load of passengers from the plane made way for customs, and were cleared through in no orderly way whatsoever. Some of us began feeling claustrophobic standing under an intense honeycomb like ceiling in a cramped mass of hundreds of people moving at a snail’s pace to have their documents checked.

Once we all made it through customs, we boarded a Mercedes!..bus that is..with no air conditioning..on a very hot day. One thing we all found out quickly as we left the airport is that the streets of Moscow are like one big parking lot. It took us about 2 hours getting from the airport to the hotel, and we all eventually settled into the massive Hotel Ismailovo complex which was originally constructed to host the 1980 Olympics

After settling into a room with a bed shorter than me, and a lamp as small as my water bottle, I looked out my 14th floor window, saw the beautiful landscape before me, and like the rest of my friends prepared to hit the ground running.

Mark Preston

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