Mother Russia awaits me


Even the lettering looks scary...

We touched down. This being Russia, after a short delay, our airplane doors were open from the outside by a fat woman in the military uniform. So many stereotypes rolled into one. Instead of the tunnel things that lead into the airport, we were greeted by buses. So, we have to descend onto the tarmac and then onto the buses.

It was my introduction to Moscow’s Airport, always referred to as the infamous Sheremetevo Airport. For decades under the Communist rule, it was Moscow’s only international airport and arrivals and departures there were so tightly scrutinized by the KGB that it rightfully earned its epithet.

Today, however, it is a shadow of its former self. I was thinking this big group of people will be a mess at the immigration counters (considering its reputation) but the line through immigration was faster than the line at the local supermarket. Yes, so much for the security.

Within ten minutes of my plane landing, I was on the Russian soil officially. Thus began my long, long wait for luggage. The handlers were not as efficient as immigration officers. The luggage took thirty more minutes …. and when I was about to exit the terminal, a plump lady officer stopped me. At immigration, it had been a plump woman too—I see right through their hiring policy!

So she stopped me and asked me to put my luggage through an X-ray machine. (I don’t know what they are checking, but she was clearly disappointed that I don’t have any forbidden dohiggys in my bags).


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