Journey to the West
by Molyna Noun
(Found this piece on my travel diary, grab a map and let’s go with me!)
Life on Aeroflot
Strangely, snow welcomed us again in Seoul, three day in a row, it kept snowing non-stop, thus, I needed to tug my heavy luggage along the snow (sorry Lavorn, I will put double, no, I mean triple care for your luggage na nop) . As usual, I need to take taxi and a 1 hour bus ride to reach the airport. Quite early than ever, I idled with facebook, and my job hunting. Phew!!
First Time Moscow
Around 6pm, we arrived Moscow, which was around 10pm in Seoul. From above (as you can be seen on the pic), it was so foggy, well of course as it’s winter here, thus, we could see the view of Moscow was covered in white, most of it are the trees, which to me seems like a forest. But amazingly it looked so beautiful as those are the tree for Christmas, I was completely felt the jingle bells.
Our airport is a bit away from the main city and not that big at all. We headed off to the transit section with other people. Thanks to my friend, he carried all the heavy stuffs (See? how great it is to be a lady?^^). The funny thing is the ticket checker and most blond hair looking people have the most charming beautiful hairstyle (my heart just melt) and most of them are slender and tall. So I was kind of feel like being thrown to the 90s American movie I watched back home.
We looked for Terminal E gate D38 to go to Oslo, though we had 3 hours of waiting, my friend so worried that we can’t find the gate, so he urged us to look for it first, while I was all the way being a journalist, snapped picture here and there let’s say, for the documentary sake.
I still having that one weird feeling regarding most people here are always look at you till you catch eye contact with them, it was since I was back in Seoul (waiting for boarding). Maybe because we are Asian, eye contact is not common, but here is a total different. I noticed they like to look (or the scarier way to say it, STARE), especially guys. Though, I wanna be nice and knowing I should smile at them when I notice they were looking at me like the good-girls-rules book mentioned, I still not yet get used to it.
After one hours of waiting, my dried-body thirst for water, it’s not an illness, it’s just common thing in winter that your body dried super fast. Even if I smartly (*winked) brought a nice warm water bottle and seemed an absolute well-prepared, it did not work well that time of the year. While Russian airport here also doesn’t have the free wi-fi (which I swear, I miss the convenient life in Seoul and that broke my heart a little) , so I decided maybe we should check out the coffee shop near by, the price might be similar to Korea. But it was a big Oh NO!! I was wrong. We didn’t bring the Russian money, so the seller will convert the price for us, which 120sth cost me 6$ just bottle of juice, which this same thing cost only around 1,000 in Seoul. I dropped jaw and put it back to the fridge quickly ( yeah, embarrassingly as well). Not because it’s expensive I didn’t buy but because it’s overpriced for this kind of drink. In my defend, I would spend 6$ for a coffee or just an espresso, but no, never with you, Juice!
Now we’ve been so tired and only wait for our flight but it’s strange that not so many people around, are we lost? Or we confused the gate? Double, triple, a thousand check, yes, it’s here, but the gate still not open, it’s like an abundant gate. It made me miss Korea even more, thanks to Korean Ajumma, I think Korean government makes life easier because they have ajumma and ajossi, but here, even the smaller trolley also not available. Everyone have to pull their heavy small luggages around, which for us, it’s so hard to shop and move. Well, it’s just a Russia things, I guess.
Transfer to Oslo
We were so anxious because one hour delay may effect our bus schedule that suppose to leave at 10pm and there is no other way to contact the isfit organizers regarding this issue. Not just us but also many other people try to rush at the gate expecting to be late. Then, there was one old lady who look like a middle-age Khmer mom who holding the ticket and trying to ask to get in but she doesn’t know the language. My friend looked at me and signaled me that maybe she is Cambodian? Maybe we could help her? Then for a little hesitation I sneaked in to look at her passport and found out she is from Thailand. The funny thing was that I really wanted to help her and before that, I’ve been practiced lots of Thai words (nah, more like alphabets) but still it’s not good enough even for the basic conversation. I’m so frustrated and I wish I could learn the language earlier so that I can deal with the situation better. Luckily, there was an old foreign gentlemen who trying to use sign language to explain her that the plane is delayed.
Ok, so then we got in the gate, but still we need to wait so long in the bus to get everyone in and we concluded that there must be some plane delayed before here, so who ever get into the bus late must be the one who caused all this disaster to us. Surprisingly, the last three people who got in was speaking in a kind of language that we can understand, that’s Khmer! We jaw dropped. Khmer people in Russia?? on the same airplane?? OMG that’s amazing. Before we jumped into the conversation with them, we tried to guess maybe they are students in Norway, how about we ask to stay in Oslo for one night? (hahaha) But the fact is they were most likely to be the Isfiters as well. The more irritating moments was when the bus took all ages to reach to other plane that was located somewhere so so far! >.< Finally we got to know other 3 Cambodians, they were also going with us and they’re quite friendly as well, but yeah younger too.
Then the plane arrived Olso at 9:45 just 15mins before the bus schedule, we were thinking of letting someone to get out and stop the bus but the process took sometimes so we asked our juniors to catch us up at the pick up luggage lunge. All the way out we met lots of foreigners who suppose to be Isfit as well. A very tall guy from Russia for example.
Once I step out of airport there were those exciting crews. It’s the smiling Isfit organizers and the rest of isfiters who were busy chatting all around each other. The mood was wonderful and I know it’s gonna be awesome! So the first thing is I need to look for Rady, for quite a long minutes of waiting he came out of the bathroom, (as usual). Then Vanny ran to us to say hi, as he’s been touring around Europe for a while before coming here. Things not going well at all, because those three juniors we met, didn’t come out. There must be something really wrong in there. I could not do anything but to wait and eagerly looking around for them. We guessed all the possible reasons and worried at the same time to later found out they could not get the luggages just yet. However it’s a big relief that we all could got on the bus safe and sound and heading our way to the wonderful week with ISfIT. I totally can’t wait for that!
For more reading on my brief ISfIT experience is here!
N.B: Areoflot has the best food ever!