I’m in a Russia to start a travelling…

by Ant Stone on June 30, 2007

in Russia

As the air hostess undid the last, teasing button, a sight unfolded that no traveller would find even with the aid of their guidebook. I gazed, longingly. I knew if I blinked, I would regret the moments I missed, as she knelt down slowly beside me she whispered those unforgettable words, “what drink would you like with that sir?”. With this, I woke from my mile-high slumber, groggy if somewhat startled.

My blurred vision afforded me the unexpected site of plastic-coated mint lamb, the smell drifted with me as I turned to feast my eyes upon the trolley wielding Adonis. To my dismay, ‘she’ had turned into a ‘he’ and my whole fantasy came crumbling cruelly down around me. I took little solace in washing it down with the glass of bitter orange juice, generously insisted by BMI.

If you hadn’t guessed already, I was aboard my maiden flight to begin the Trail of Ants, in Moscow. Fantasies aside, something strange had happened while I slept, I realised as I woke that all traces of English speaking and logic had vanished and I was now presented with a sensory explosion of, well, Russian. Everyone around me, was seemingly Russian. Landing at Domodedovo airport I quickly realised my first mistake- forgetting to print off the location of my first abode, the aptly named Godzilla Hostel. In many countries of the world this wouldn’t have been a problem, but Russia proudly sports the most bizarre alphabet and language combo I’ve ever come across. I can’t read one word of their language, and it’s something I was totally unprepared for as usually I can blag it to some degree.

Even worse than that, less than 1% can understand my exaggerated English. “Doooooo yoooou knowwwww wheerrreee I caaaaan fiiiiiiiiiind Godddzillas?” I uttered to numerous clueless onlookers. Maybe not in such ignorant tongue as the previous sentance implies, but still, you get the gyst. It took me 5 hours to source my destination from an express train, and a labrythine Metro system, I met one English speaker prior to walking into the hedonism of Godzillas, a man of 60 years or so and satisfyingly named Igor. His last words to me were “when you get back to England, don’t forget me”. I never will, Igor. I never ever will.

As far as first days go, this one has a lot to live up to. Not reaching Godzillas till gone 9 meant most folk were painting the town already, but this granted me the opportunity to soak in some solidarity with myself and make that monumental walk, out of Godzillas jaws and into the surreal streets of Mockba (aka Moscow, jeees didn’t you know that!?). All that’s left for me to do now, is fill the next few days with mischief so that I can give you a taste of what Moscow really has to offer and see if we can come to some sort of understanding. Right, where was that air hostess? What have you done with her, Igor?

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