Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moscow 11//08

It's Sunday in Russia. Breakfast at the hotel is different, but better than the last two times I was there. It's now on the third floor, where everyone eats. It used to be delivered to your room at the time you selected. It was a typical Eastern European breakfast: ham, herring, cheeses, sausage, oatmeal, pickles, tomatoes, and cereals. Granola and yogurt was just fine.

I'm at Domodedovo airport, the more modern one, south of the city. It is incredibly busy. Surprisingly, there is free wireless internet. Why don't they have that in the US? In Philadelphia, there wasn't even internet you pay for.

Interesting, all of the announcements are in Russian and English. Although, the clerk at check-in didn't speak English. And hardly anyone else does. When you walk into the departure area, you have to look at the screen to see where your flight is checking in. There are over 100 check-in stations. When I got to mine, I was informed that I was over the weight limit on baggage. I kind of knew that because I had been in contact with the airline before I left. You get a slip and then go to the cashier to pay. My surcharge was 5100 rubles ($186). You pay that and then get a slip to go back to the counter and pick up the boarding pass. Then you go to the area where your gate is.

There is a desk where your passport and boarding card are checked, similar to the US. The security line is very short. A woman approached me and asked me something in Russian, to which I said "no". I don't know what she was asking. Then she said "belt, watch, jacket." I understood that. The computer didn't have to be taken out, nor the CPAP machine. After I exited the detector, the woman on the other side, speaking only Russian, motioned to my denim on the outside/flannel on the inside shirt. After several attempts to tell me what she wanted, she finally started buttoning up the front. I guess I needed to be more presentable.

The gate area is very modern, with cafes all over. At the moment, I'm on my second cappuccino. European coffee is much preferable to American coffee. I don't think they know how to make cappuccino in America. The flight leaves in 90 minutes. The screens are very helpful, because they constantly update the status of the flight and gate assignment, in Russian and English.
It's time to pack up and go.

Next, from Novosibirsk.


Luc said...

Actually, the Columbus airport has free wifi. :) It's great that you were able to experience English (even a little) in Moscow. :)

Scott Richardson said...

Thanks, Luc.
I'm staying quite a distance from where you were. I'm sharing a flat with a student. I plan to scout out the area today, and it may be New York Pizza tonight.
Keep in touch.