My Trip to Moscow, Part I

Around three years ago, I went to Russia, which was my first time leaving the US.  The next few posts will be about the trip to Moscow, Russia for academic reasons.  I made some notes of my experience, as I went along.

April 28, 2009

Well, I am in Russia Now.  I can’t believe that I am actually here.  When I left home yesterday, I hugged my family goodbye.  I had some issues with Russian customs over some packages that I sent, but now I am relieved that this reagent is now not a part of the trip.  I will learn other things for the trip.  The flight to Atlanta was nice and short.  Atlanta has leaves on the trees, but looks parched.  They have a nice aiport.  During the long overnight flight, I slept for at least a good two hours, but was then off and on for the 10 hour or so flight.  It was an hour shorter than expected, due to tail winds.  When we landed, the airport smelled like cigarette smoke.  The airport had a vintage communist feel to it.  They try to build nice hotels and additions onto it, but the new additions are all brightly colored and tacky.  A local student, Petr picked me up from the airport.  Traffic is bad in Moscow, and you see people out on the street walking on freeways and even biking along the shoulders.  Lots of horn honking.  Some people even drive backward on the lanes.  Moscow seems like a hodgepodge of new buildings, half-built things, historical sites, and older communist buildings, like my hotel.  New apartments are across the street.  There is so much stuff going on in this big city.  I got a brief tour of the laboratory facilities that I am visiting.  The lab is scattered across campus.  They had a small shed specially built that is brand new, but still looks partially under construction.  Most labs are in older buildings with really small wooden doors.  I went to the store and bought some water with the help of Dmitry and Igor.  After that, I went to my hotel, washed up, and tried to figure out dinner.  Then I watched TV nodding off, wrote this, and I am now attempting to get some dinner, but I don’t know how to order dinner here.  The smallest things befuddle me, and I am so tired right now.

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