Yes, finally it was May 26. I’d fly out on what was logistically complex itinerary I had put together so far. I was gonna fly to Moscow, followed by a super long layover over to Prague.
I did not sleep well the previous night. Mostly because I was excited and partly because I was working late typing up loose ends. I woke up early around 6 AM and had a lottts of things to do – laundry, pack, get paperwork in order. I was also coming down with cold. Things were starting to go tits up. Add to the mix, I was suppose to be working today.
Did laundry, packed , made a quick dash to CVS for some potent meds, finished up some work all by 10 AM. I had to attend a meeting from home until 11. Took an uber to Santa Barbara Airbus and I was off by Noon.
This past year with the abundance of transcon travel I’ve been doing for work, I am a Delta Medallion Gold. My upgrade went through to J cabin sometime in the chaotic morning. Airbus ride down to LAX was pretty uneventful since I spent most of time working. Hey, every day spent working is one more day spent traveling.
TBIT checkin was a zoo, as usual. Premium check in line took 20 minutes to move. First world problems. Caught up on a few emails and it was boarding time already. Luckily meal service started soon enough and I downed a couple of Vodka (Russian airline, remember) and the meal. Took the ‘drowsy’ cold meds and passed out for a good 9 hours on the comfortable flat bed. That is probably the best sleep I’ve had in flight. Ever. This probably is a good time talk about Aeroflot. Contrary for the popular belief they don’t use antiquated soviet era commuter jets. Atleast not on premium routes. 777 was fine considering the it was almost an error fare for J cabin to Europe in summer. Would I fly them again? For that price, absolutely.
See, when I booked tickets I had two options. Connect in SVO in 3 hours. Or spend overnight and fly out super early next morning and save $100 in the ticket cost. Guess what I did? I am not the one to pass up on passport stamps.
I attempted to go through to door for persons who are declaring things
(because my Russian is awesome), I am yelled at by Ridiculously-Too-Hot-For-A-Customs-Official to exit through the other door. I’m disappointed that being a submissive is not really my thing, otherwise I’d have found my heaven in Russia. While we’re on that subject, you know how in some movies, and a prime offender here are the old Bond movies, they have the Soviet military females as just being obvious plants in the movie as eye candy? Turns out that’s really how it is in Russia. If ever you needed to get into trouble with customs and be strip searched,
I highly recommend Russia.
I had arranged the visa and all that jazz for Russia beforehand. Indian passport is almost always treated ‘nicely’ (as nice as it can get in immigration counter) in Russain airports. I was out kerbside by 3-ish.
I stepped out and managed to find someone who spoke broken English to get me onto Bus to the train station. When I got to the Belorusskaya station, my jaw dropped and I was so close to dropping F words. Why? See for yourself.
I some how managed to get to my hotel, dropped off my bags and headed out to red square. Red square is..well..unique. I like it. Nice architecture, lots of open space and enough space to walk around? I am sold.
Later that night, I walked into bar and asked for Moscow Mule. Hah. I expected blank stares and smirks but she knew what it was. Although she did ask “Where From?”. I decided to paint India in good picture and said “California”. Go figure. lol.
I’ve been meaning to go this hole in the wall Russian restaurant in North Hollywood for like, ever. But somehow I always in some Mexican place. I wonder why? and How? Any way, I figured, now that I am in Moscow I am gonna try some Authentic place. I some how use the “translate to english” on my phone browser while browsing tripadvisor and end up in an ‘authentic place. What I did not expect is all Russian menu and too-hot-to-be-a-waiter who spoke no English. Good that I am carnivore, I end up choosing appetizer #2 and main course #4 and hoping they were edible.
After a few rounds of Vodka, my food was ready.
Turns out I got dumplings for appetizer. Hmm..
And a plate of this…meat..what meat? I gots no idea to this day.
I was beat by then. It was Friday night, but I had no energy to par-tay. I just walked around clubs pumping out Euro trash and Justin Beiber and called it a night soon after.
Tomorrow is gonna be a long day, because I flying to Prague at 6 AM and it is gonna be, in the words of Barney Stinson – Legendary.