Siberia, Russia Part 2– Where Are We and Exactly what Day Is It?
Standing in the airport in San Diego, I began to question exactly for how long it was going to take to get to the city of Chita in Siberia. The combination of a vodka hangover, 3 flights, one train ride and a jump over the international date line didn’t help. Initially glance, it looked like an overall of two days, which wasn’t bad for going to the other side of the earth.
I need to have paid more attention in math.
The itinerary for obtaining from San Diego to Chita check out like this:
1. Fly from San Diego to Seattle.
2. Meet charity representative and other professor.
3. Fly from Seattle to Anchorage
. 4. Fly from Anchorage on Aeroflot [gulp] to Khabarovsk, Russia.
5. Take train from Khabarovsk to Chita.
How bad could it be? Extremely, extremely, very bad. Did I point out “bad”?
The flight to Seattle was no problem. I satisfied Tom Dickinson, the creator of Siberian Intercultural Bridges, but we could not discover the other instructor. Turns out the flight to Anchorage wasn’t till the next morning, so it didn’t truly appear to be a problem. Around midnight, our mindset altered and we had actually crossed out the instructor.
Day 2 At 8 a.m., Grea Waters from Kentucky appears out of the Seattle mist. We have our second professor and he speaks fluent Russian. This is a big relief as I had invested a great deal of the previous night considering my Russian abilities. That is to say, I had none. I couldn’t even pronounce the name of city we would land in, Khabarovsk. I nearly had a panic attack during the night when I bolted up in bed upon the realization that I would have no chance of understanding how to get to the train or when to get off. You see, the Russian language is based upon the Cyrillic alphabet. There is no way to wing the Cyrillic alphabet. For instance, the letter “y” is noticable “ch” as in Charlie. I remained in certain difficulty. Would the rest of my life be spent riding around aimlessly on trains? The continued grinning of Tom Dickinson didn’t make me feel any better.
Our flight from Seattle to Anchorage was uneventful. Yes, we flew Alaska Airlines. While waiting on our connection in Anchorage, two thoughts kept running though my head. Initially, isn’t really Aeroflot the airline company with all the crashes? Second, how did a guy from Kentucky end up being proficient in Russian? I suggest, what about his accent? I was feeling less confident about my translator and decided to investigate. I began rubbing my temples when he told me that he had never been to Russia.
Alas, there was no reversing. Trust me, I tried. However that’s a story to be informed in Part 3 of this wanderer adventure travel series …