Trip Start May 30, 2011
32Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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And sorry I'm posting a million entries at once but I am just now on the Internet.
And the Russian language starts already! My check-in agent at the desk for Delta in Tulsa was a former classmate of mine in Russian classes, and is Russian, Yulia. So of course we are speaking in Russian and I'm telling her that I’m going to Russia! And she of course had some advice to offer about safety and all.
Everybody has had some kind of warning or advice about being safe in Russia. Come on guys: it’s not like I’m going to a war zone; I’m not some easy target for these "criminal" people, as they are portrayed.
In Atlanta from exiting the plane I went to my next gate. There were all the Russians. Typical: everyone to oneself, no one looking around, nothing. One lady however did approach me. I had just talked on the phone with Katya so I guess this woman knew that I had an American cell phone. She was timid in talking to me (which is strange for Russians, who are not shy to say what the mean or ask for what they want) and was explaining that that she had written a number down of relatives she was supposed to call, and that that was a Chicago number, and asked if she could speak on my phone if it was a domestic line. She seemed happier when I started talking back in Russian and had understood her and was willing to help. So she used my phone and I even got a smile out of her! That made my day because it seems like Russians just don’t smile. It’s not like in America where if you are passing someone or make eye contact you usually acknowledge that by a smile. So I’ve been trying not to smile at anyone, but it’s hard because I’m having so much fun already.
I hit the jackpot with the flight from Atlanta to Moscow (why by the way is more than 10.5 hours in length). The back of the plane was very empty and in the last 5-6 rows everybody had either 2 or 3 seats to themselves in economy class – I think it’s a better deal than business class! The flight was serviced by Delta but they had Russian flight attendants working all of whom could of course speak Russian and could also speak English. They would look at a passenger and speak to them in either English or Russian. All of them the entire time spoke to me in Russian, so I must blend in somewhat with the Russian population. But I was really impressed with the service and comfort on Delta Airlines.