A prisoner at Sheremetyevo Moscow

The trauma in Armenia

is just starting to sink in as we left that god-forsaken country and now was in the air with Dmitri, our Russian escort from AEROFLOT the airlines which had first flown us in.

As expected, when we landed in Moscow — we were robbed in broad daylight as the so-called airport security chief came to greet us an hour after we landed :

“Believe me, this is the cheapest flight you will ever find to Istanbul and I promise you will get to fly out like a normal passenger with no records and no police escorts. It will all be clean, you understand? I give you five minutes to decide…”

The price for our freedom? 800 USD.

and beyond that, we have to spend the whole day in the middle class purgatory known as Sheremetyevo airport as the flight out leaves only at midnight. It’s our THIRD NIGHT at an airport.

Sheremetyevo is strange — a bit more like a bus terminal. Instead of a flow of passengers, you get a mob of passengers usually coming in the morning and not leaving until at night.

It is almost like the UN refugee centre with indian sikhs playing cards in one corner, Beijing Chinese smoking heavily in another and green-haired Japanese teenagers laughing loudly in another.

Add in your fat European crowd and Americans and the odd African and you have a new culture of “waiting people.” They are mostly middle class who can afford to fly in but yet cannot afford to spend on “duty free” shops.

I have now flown into Moscow twice but have not been able to see the city. From the airport however and in my free time I have built up quite a bit of a picture. There are postcards and souveniours to be seen and the Moscow Times newspaper and Where? magazine giving the lowdown on this city.

I now know that I can eat at a TIBETAN restaurant in Moscow, Putin is a pain in the arse after Beslan and trying to reinstate a dictatorship and Yukos is not yet going under, much to the happiness of China who are buying a lot more oil. Oh, and if you are ever in Moscow, don’t miss the parks….

We landed in Istanbul at 1 am the next morning

and I spent the third night in the airport but this time slept soundly…. at least for two hours …


Originally written for http://www.trekshare.com/members/dromoman