So, I’m not even in Zurich yet and I already have fun stories to blog about! Let me catch you up on what my day has been like thus far:
Wake up at 5am to pack the car, eat breakfast, etc. A little after 7am, Deb and I run to the store to grab earplugs for sleeping, and to top off the gas tank. From there, we pick up another Global Perspectives Program (GPP) participant, Iris. Then it is off to Dulles Airport, an unexciting 4-hour drive from Blacksburg.
The car ride goes fine, as traffic was relatively kind. Deb and I interrogate Iris about cultural differences between Ghana (her home country) and the US. Deb and I are flabbergasted by her 25 siblings back home and her perspective that having noisy neighbors are nice because they remind you that you are not alone.
We arrive at Dulles, shuttle and check in with a little time to spare. Then we meet up with Dan, the fourth GPP person on our flight. Iris realizes that Dan, Deb, and I all have an early Zurich flight so she tries to moves hers up. The flight staff says they’ll put her on standby when we get to Moscow for our connection. We all have to weigh our bags and prove they are carry-on sized. Deb and I are totally a little over the weight limit with our bags, but the flight attendant lets us get away anyway (much to dismay of his boss who is trying to eliminate cabin luggage). Everyone gets on the plane fine, but Deb and I are stuck in the middlest of middle seats between two grumpy looking russians that appear to be aisle-seat lovers.
We pull away from the gate, start to taxi a tad late, and then pull over and sit on the tarmac for not one, not two, but THREE lovely hours. We suspect that this is because of the tornado warning that has been issued for the DC area, but they claim it is a technical issue with the plane and ignore the tornado warning. Our flight was meant to take of at 3:00 pm…it now takes off at 6:00 pm. We had a 2 hour layover in Moscow. Can you see where this is going?
Deb and I slowly loose our minds as the 9.5 hour flight continues. Our Russian friends have zero interest in stretcching thier legs or using the restroom during the 12 hours we are the plane. We try to be the polite passengers as our legs cramp and the people in front of us slam their seats all the way back. We watch a movie and try to relax until Deb’s TV breaks and we decide to try a nap. The 3 babies on board have other ideas. The one a row back is the worst culprit. She cries about every 15 minutes for 15 minutes at a time, THE ENTIRE 12 HOURS! I’m ready to cry along with her because she’s too loud and close for my earplugs to help.
When we finally got to Moscow, we sprinted to the nearest departures board and our flight is missing in action, it probably left 40 minutes prior. Dan, Deb, and I all line up to swap our tickets for a new flight, and end up on Iris’s original flight…which doesn’t leave for another 7 hours or so. Fortunately, I have plenty of down time to blog…but all we want to do is sleep. So here I am, 4 hours of driving, 3 hours of waiting on the tarmac, and 9.5 hours of flying later, waiting in Moscow for a way out.
Ya gotta love flying! I’m excited for the next leg of the journey, but I’m also REALLY tempted to pay for one of the nap pods…
Edit: As a fun fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many blonds in one pace as I’ve seen at the Moscow SVO airport.