I recently had a really tiring trip to Russia, with a few of my classmates and teachers to attend the Saint Pettursburg International Model United Nations, which was a big 'ooh-aah' for most of us as this was our first international conference ever!
Fifteen of us arrived [half-asleep] at the international airport in Mumbai from where our flight was to leave at 7. But, obviously, because of those stupid airport procedures we had be there around four hours early. To our displeasure, the arrival-departure boards we going besurk with the timings of our flight. Initially we discovered our Aeroflot flight was a day late, then it moved down to ten hours and finally to fours hours late!
After a rather dreamy breakfast [sheera acted as an energy booster for me] and hours of snoring and drooling on the airport chairs, we finally boarded our plane at 11 a clock in the afternoon. The journey from mumbai to moscow seem to take forever [not to mention the time difference trying to make it seem shorter than it actually was] and pillow fights [courtesty, Abdullah], endless sessions of whispering [I couldn't hear those dark secrets, of course] , a rather queer Russian movie and cloud-watching didn't seem to help at all. I tried falling asleep but was woken up by a low, groning voice, "Fish or Chicken?" [Uh! i thought they usually asked "Veg or Non-Veg"] and so, chewing slowing and cautiously like a cow [the food was tasty though] I spent the rest of my monotonous flight.
All equipped for the killing cold in a dark blue cap [with a large pompom of top and a bow around my chin], a huge red jacket, cosy gloves and a bright coloured scarf, I attracted sniggers from virtually everyone around me. We were out for barely a minute and then had to stand in the sweltering hot, crowded, creepily silent Moscow airport in a two hour long line! The airport was packed with people towering over us who were somber and silent and didn't even exchange stares or glares! we were the only ones chatting rather loudly till our turn came.
Of course, Aeroflot was as efficient as my [darned] printer yet again. The fifteen of us were split into two different flights, while our teachers were coming in another flight an hour later. After a good dressing down from our teacher, who was purple with choking rage, Aeroflot put us together in one flight which was supposed to leave from another airport three hours later. We boarded a bus, our hands red from the biting cold and clutching our slippery bag handles and reached the airport within half an hour for the rest of our relay race: to catch our last plane on time.
So began a one-hour-five-minutes [or longer!] ride to St. Pettursburg in a rather uncomfortable plane [the seats were as flexible as Prabu Deva and seemed to bend and dance in all angles]. By the time we reach our hotel it was two in the morning [so around four in Mumbai] and of course walking along the endless corridors all the way to our rooms [gasp! gasp!] took another hour or so. I vaguely remember floating along the corridor, sleeping [while walking] on the handle of my bag!
whew! a whole day of aeroflot and disturbed sleep! i shuddered to thing of the return journey.......