So I finally am settled in. For the most part, anyway.
It's been a couple days now so I guess I'll start with my flight.
Everything went well and there weren't too many major problems. Frankfurt was
by far an easier airport to navigate than CDG. We actually landed almost an hour early,
and our gate wasn't even open yet, so they had to unload us onto buses
and drive us to our gate. I had four hours in Frankfurt and there wasn't a whole lot to do, mostly
because the airport was smaller and I wasn't really that hungry. I got breakfast at McDonalds, which was
extremely slow because the cashiers had to go get everyone's stuff before they waited on the next customer.
I thought ALL McDonalds were efficient, haha. So I ate and then searched for wireless, which I did find, albeit
very bad wireless. But I did what I needed to do. The second plane ride is always the killer, for me anyway.
I was so tired and of course I was like, the last person on the plane. So lo and behold there was nowhere for
my carry on in the overhead storage, so I had to shove it under the seat in front of me while the 2 Russian kids
I was sitting with gave me death stares for making them get up. Eventually a flight attendant took pity on me and
told me there was extra room in business class so she took it up there. Domodedovo was pretty painless, EXCEPT
for baggage claim. Ahhh such a small area with so many people. By the time I had filled out my migration card,
the baggage from my flight had apparently already passed through, and it took me about 20 minutes before I found
it at the info desk. What a nightmare. And that's not even including the angry Russian lady at passport control
who persistently asked "where you fly from?!". So yeah, finally found my driver and got going, which leads me to
my next segment: Moscow traffic.
Oh god, now I knew the traffic was supposedly bad, but I can't even express with words how ridiculous it is. I
don't even know why they bother to paint lines on the road. People pretty much just created their own lanes and
there was absolutely no semblance of organization whatsoever. Without traffic, the trip probably would've been
less than 30 minutes, but it took us about 90. People with like, NICE cars such as Mercedes, BMWs etc etc would
literally just go offroad into the dirty and muddy shoulder to pass maybe 2 other cars. The people merging
wouldn't even wait until the roads met and they just drove right through the medians. For the first 30 minutes I
was shocked and then I didn't care anymore because I felt like passing out.
I got to Svetlana's apartment maybe around like, 8:30, I think. I don't even remember. So for everyone who I know
is dying to hear who Svetlana is. Well, she's 73, I think, I forget what she said, but somewhere around that.
She's really nice. However, here's the kicker. She speaks NO English. Absolutely none at all. She has a
daughter Lena, she doesn't live here but she was here on Thursday night and she speaks some English, so she
helped translate important things. It's not really that bad though because for the most part, she speaks slowly
enough and uses baby words, haha, so I can understand her. Otherwise I just break out the Ya ne ponimayu and she
gives up, haha. My room and bed is actually really nice, the apartment is in general. The outside is straight up
Soviet, but her kitchen is actually really modern, and my bed is big so I am happy. She also has two tvs, woooo.
I watched some kind of Days of Our Lives type soap opera with her yesterday until I met Lisa from SRAS for
orientation. I got my phone (no more withdrawal- and it texts too! yay) calling card, put minutes on it, got some
metro passes, and a map of Moscow from Dom Knigi (Erin and Marie will appreciate this). After that I made a mental
note of the McDonalds with free wifi on Arbat, which is where I am posting this from now, and then I went back
to Svetlana's for the night.
So right now I am in McDonalds posting this. Internet here is so terrible. Like, I guess I should've known but
there are barely any places so far that I have found. I guess I will have to explore some more. This works for
now though. I even managed to order my stuff in Russian so I was proud of myself for that, haha. Other than that,
I am just waiting for school stuff to start on Monday. We have placement tests and stuff like that, and I think
actual lectures start on Tuesday.
So this has been really long so I will stop now. I have a freaking time limit at McDonalds apparently anyway.
Will update when possible.
PS. Sorry if this post is terrible formatted. I had to type it in notepad :X