So after a long travel day(and a half), I’ve made it to Russia.
Columbia to Charlotte
Charlotte to London (overnight)
A nice, exhilarating early morning run through Heathrow to make my connection, to fly to Moscow.
At the first Moscow airport, I had to go through passport control and customs, get my suitcase - brush my teeth and change clothes - then get in an Uber (well, here, Yandex.Taxi) to travel across Moscow to the other airport.
The trip around Moscow (on their beltway) really looked at lot like any big city in the northeast - New York, Baltimore, etc. A fair amount of trees. Gas stations every couple miles. Lots of retail. The malls here make Texas look like tiny, podunk shopettes.
Made it to the second airport 3 hours early. I wasn’t sure what to expect with checking into my flight and handling security.
Step 1: they scan everybody at the front door
Step 2: checked in to my flight. Found an agent who spoke English and she took care of me.
Step 3: the security at the gate is two stages: first passport and boarding pass check. Second, scanning you and your stuff. Going to a foreign country is always a little bit stressful: every country has a slightly different process. Like anywhere else, I spent my time in line watching everything everybody in front of me was doing. Walk out of line to go pick up your bins. Belt off. Liquids out of the bag. Computers out of the bag. Pockets empty. Watches off. Wait - shoes!!! Half were taking shoes off, half left them on. I’m wearing my Allbirds, so I went for it. Success!!!
Then the security agent stopped me. No idea what she said. Then she motioned for me to spin around. She patted me on the back. Either she was rewarding me for successfully navigating security, or she was checking the hood on my hoodie. I’m going with the former.
and now, step 4: