Mixup in Moscow
I am enroute with my oldest son on our way to the Mid-East. It was to be a simple layover in Moscow. As a Russian-American, he required no visa and I obtained the new, three-year multi-entry visa so we could leave the airport. We made reservations for a nearby Russian hotel and would take the high-speed train into the city from Sheremetyevo.
That was the plan. It all came crashing down within a few minutes of arrival at our US departure airport. Checking in at Aeroflot, the Russian airline, the counter clerk informed us that our bags would be checked through to Tel Aviv.
“Da, that’s our final destination,” we affirmed in Russian, “but we will be spending almost an entire day in Moscow—.”
“But we need— I need— my things! How could we be checking into a Russian airport hotel without any of our things to take a nap, to take a shower…?” I protest.
It falls on deaf ears. She kindly gives us a minute to think this through. I grab a small shampoo and my hot rollers. The hotel should have a hairdryer.
Makeup with me. A pair of flats to switch from heels. Praise the Lord I threw a small deodorant into my makeup bag— it usually travels in my toiletry bag in the big suitcase. I had no hairbrush, only a wide toothed comb. My son neglected to follow my instructions and therefore had no narrow toothed comb, nor gel, nor deodorant. Quite a sight, hopefully without aroma vision.
We were frazzled, we were shocked about the whole turn of events. Onto the plane we climbed, the Russian flight crew one of the most stunningly attractive in the airport in their bright red skirt suits and hats. They were friendly, the airplane itself was really new and clean. But…
The temperature never came down below 90 degrees or so. We asked the crew. Surprisingly, it was cool where the stewards and stewardesses were working. Yet, the main cabin was hotter than hot. We were sweating like pigs. Soaked through. Off came the jackets as we steamed in our shirtsleeves, knowing full well that we would not have any clothes to change into once in Moscow if they were holding our bags…. Many loud toddlers did not help our frame of mind nor focus.
So we arrived at SVO more tired and disoriented than normal. Which is why we left my raincoat on the airplane.
And that’s a whole adventure in itself….
————Tags: adventures on the way to Moscow, how to survive with no baggage, layovers in foreign countries, layovers too long to stay in airport, leaving a coat on a plane abroad, lost without my luggage, new layover security rules, Russian airline Aeroflot