After listening to someone behind us in the queue who will undoubtedly be involved with the next series of Made in Chelsea (“I’m going to see grannie in Sussex and then go for dinner at Alesandro’s.” “It’s a bit cold in Alesandro’s.”), we were sent to the “Premier Check-In” to help get the queue down. It was much nicer – carpets, no cattle market barriers to keep us in the herd of the queue…and some grumpy Italians with too many bags.
Then it happened. VISA NOT REQUIRED. Those three little words nearly made my heart skip a beat! The happy smiley check in lady didn’t know what it meant for me to be getting on a plane first attempt from Heathrow Terminal 4 as she wrote that on my boarding pass!! No moody travel agent phone calls, no rush to find a new ticket, no repeat journey to Heathrow the next day! So far, so good.
In fact, the whole process was a breeze in comparison with my first attempt back in August via Saudi Arabia. Sadly though, Aeroflot planes don’t quite match Emirates. I’d been spoilt. The first flight to Moscow was 4 hours, which I thought would be the “cut off point” – the point at which it’s not quite long enough to get a TV, but just long enough to want one. There was no TV, so we occupied ourselves with The Inbetweeners Rude Road Trip and An Idiot Abroad clips on my iPod. I say we…let me introduce you to Ashley…
…my boyfriend who’s joining me over the next 5 weeks. I can’t draw him without him looking like an old lady, but I assure you, he doesn’t really. I’m sure you’ll become acquainted as the next five weeks go on. He’s pleased to meet you.
Anyway, back to the Aeroflot journey….we arrived at Moscow and had an hour and a half to make it to our gate. So unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to get out and see any of the city, but fortunately this meant we didn’t need a visa! YES! Visa not required!
What can I say about an hour and a half in Moscow’s airport?…Lots of adverts for alcohol, lots of Christmas trees dotted about in random places and a rabbit warren of the same duty free shops. Oh yeah, and I want a Russian doll. Maybe next time, when I go to Russia, when I need a visa.
And so we boarded the next flight – the big one – nine hours, a Boeing 767, complete with 2 meals and surely, individual TVs….nope. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad. No TVs. Just communal ones dotted down the centres of the aisles.
“Well, we probably won’t get a choice, but at least we’ll get a film,” I said to Ashley, trying to offer some consolation – we were pretty excited about our own little TV units.
“Yeah but it’ll probably be in Russian.”
“Oh yeah, good point.”
The film was Home Alone, in English, which wasn’t too bad if not a bit retro. I lost count of the amount of times we pulled out a headphone to point out a flaw to each other though…lot of flaws in that film. I’d never realised before. The one I can remember now is why does it hurt him when he puts the aftershave on? He’s 8 years old!!
The lack of filmage meant that after dinner we had no real option but to sleep. Which is probably a good thing. And that’s where we are now, after a few hours sleep, the window blind being opened by the seats in front of us gradually woke us up. And so we wait for breakfast – filmless, in the dark and still a bit sleepy. Think it’s Spider Solitaire time….ahh, it’s just like being back in Asia.