Monday, May 23, 2011

24 April: Johannesburg to Dubai to Moscow

06h20 (Dubai time = SA time + 2hrs)
I arrived at Dubai airport about an hour ago and did a thorough wander thru their duty-free. Not much of interest there, honestly. Was also quite tired because I didn't get much sleep on the flight from Joburg :(

Am so far not terribly impressed with my Emirates flying experience. Wouldn't you know, I get the only entertainment screen that wasn't working. At least the audio was fine tho because I need that to sleep on a plane. I will also say that the plus side of not being able to watch any Movies or TV was that I went thru all the audio on offer and found Tom Lehrer under the comedy section. Most of you probably won't have a clue who that is, but Gumdrop had all the records and I love him! So I sang along merrily to all the songs, smiling, reminded of Gum :)

Sigh, and something I can't stand when flying is sitting next to people who spill out of their own seat and into your tiny space. I was surrounded by a South African Muslim family of about 20, from grandmother to young kiddies and all the adult family members in between. It is equally unpleasant to be constantly talked over on a flight. Oh, and it was kinda surreal constantly having the 2 women next to me mumbling. I figured it was some kind of prayer they were saying and assumed that perhaps they were nervous flyers (it started just before take-off). But it just didn't stop. In fact, they got out their weird clicker-counter things and clearly they have to mumble the same thing an infinite number of times. Weird religionisms, I tell ya.

The food on the flight was fine and I had quite a nice blue-cheese pasta with vegetable ratatouille. Can't say the same for the very boring breakfast tho. And they must've cranked up the heating overnight because I was boiling hot!

It's another 3 hours or so before my next flight .... *waiting*

21h30 (Moscow time = SA time + 4hrs)
The time in Dubai passed uneventfully and soon I was on my flight to Moscow. Weird how some people just look Russian! Haha, do I look South African?

I sat next to a Russian guy who also took up more than his own seat and had a furious body odour. He was on his way home from the Seychelles and we attempted some conversation.

This time, my in-flight entertainment was working so I managed to watch some movies. First up was The Tourist, which I'd kinda meant to see on big screen but never got round to. Honestly I fell asleep watching it and finished it during lunch. It is a decidedly average offering from the likes of Angelina & Johnny and had a terribly predictable ending. Yawn.

Next I watched 127 Hours because I was curious about the story, but not curious enough to watch it at the cinema. This is one of those movies that does exactly what it says on the box. There is not really any "wow" to the storyline but the story itself (I say that because you pretty much know it all upfront, you're just going to watch it all play out). And yes, it is completely cover-your-eyes cringe worthy at the crucial moment. But, I think it's quite amazing what humans can do running on survival instinct alone.

And then it was just about time to land in Moscow. It's always quite strange landing in a new country. I mean, you know it's going to be different and all, but it's the how that always surprises me. Domodedovo airport seems to be in a logging district and is surrounded by fir and birch trees. It's pretty awesome to see.

Customs was easy, there were not that many people arriving without Russian passports. Baggage collection, however, was stressful. They literally had each bag come out on the carousel one by one. And mine just never came. But they did announce that all over-sized and fragile luggage had to be collected separately. Clearly they obeyed those old fragile stickers I still had stuck to my bag and that's where I found it.

I exited to find a man with my name on a board and he got me to my transfer. The drive was lengthy but I am so glad I learnt the alphabet because I could figure out some of the signs along the way just from sounding the letters out :)

I nodded off repeatedly in the cab on the way to Hotel Cosmos and on arrival it sure is intimidating. But I'm thrilled to find myself on the 22nd floor (of 25), with a lovely view!

There is free wifi here so I managed to catch up with a few people. I also took a little stroll across the road to Cosmonaut Alley. The sun didn't set till after 20h30! Sadly I didn't have enough time to get to the State History Museum this afternoon tho :( I'm really quite disappointed about that cause it's closed on Tuesdays and tomorrow we have our city-tour.

I had a quiet dinner in one of the many hotel restaurants and a nice hot bath. And now I'm off to read for a bit and then off to bed.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Wow! That hotel looks amazing.

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