So I made it through 16 hours on a plane, 18 hours in a train, and finished it off with a few minutes in an automobile :-)
I'm alive and well here in Izhevsk, and i've been chatting with and getting to know my host family. I should probably mention that my inability to really speak much (OK, *any*) Russian has obviously gotten in the way.
I've managed to survive fairly well so far, but i'm feeling like a big inconvenience to Irina and Sergei, my host *mom* and her son.
It probably doesn't help matters that i'm completely gone, mentally. I really haven't gotten anywhere near enough sleep, and even though i've had quite a bit in the last few hours, nowhere near enough water.
I've already had two wonderful meals with my temporary family, and both have been simple, but great :-) My favorite so far is this "vinaigrette" that Irina made that is really a "Beet, Cucumber, and Potatoes Salad". It's freakin' awesome :-D
I have taken a pretty thorough account of my travels using my little recorder, so hopefully i'll find a way to post it soon. If not, here is the long and short of what's happened involving me so far:
+Got on the plane to Chicago and arrived there on time.
+Got nailed at the exchange counter for a some of money that i'm sure is not quite worth what i paid.
+Plane got delayed due to a "galley malfunction". Which probably means a coffee pot problem.
+Plane got to Moscow early.
+Picked up some extra cash after figuring out (by blind luck) what the ATM machines looked like vs. the exchange machines.
+Used some more blind luck to find, buy a ticket for, and board the express train into Moscow.
+Used up the rest of my blind luck successfully navigating the Moscow subway system mostly by instinct.
+Found the train station just a little bit outside of the metro station and headed in.
+I was pretty severely early, and i ended up waiting a long time for my train.
+Took an absurd amount of pics and vids while on the train and had an awesome older lady who understood no English for a bunk mate.
+Got pretty much no sleep because of jet lag, caffeine, and a bumpy ride.
+And now i'm here!
If you want to check out the pics and vids i've got, head on over to my Picasa Web page (linked to the right) and have fun :-)
Sorry if some of them seem a bit repetitive, but i figured better too many than too little! :-D
NEways, i'm totally exhausted. I've actually started finishing different words than i had started writing.
Well, Catch y'all on the flip side :-D