Hi Momma! Hi Dad! I'm safe and sound in Russia!
The plane ride was...fun? It didn't feel as long as it was. When boarding the plane it was like entering a whole new world, but at the same time not at all...I know that doesn't really make sense...butttttt
I sat beside an older Russian man. He was very helpful but we had some super intense conversations about the environment, Obama, and ALL the problems of the United States and how we should be more like Europe. He had some very strong opinions and at times I was uncomfortable during the conversation.
I also had trouble understanding when the flight attendant asked me questions. Soooo the first time we had to order food I didn't get it and he kind of gave me an impatient look and from then on he tried speaking english...it was awkward and I hesitated, stumbled and mumbled over my words too much. oh well, I mean I learned from it, so now on I'll just say things with confidence even if they are wrong.
The language barrier is frustrating. I got treated like I was of lesser intelligence more than just not knowing the language. As the man beside me put it: ‘Its like being dog. You can understand but you cannot express.’
We have settled into our apartment for the night. It's pretty nice! We have a small bath and kitchen, and a large living room and a small bedroom for four people. The apartment complex is in the center of Moscow-- a prime location! We walked easily to dinner and the grocery store tonight.
We ate at Mu-Mu, a cafeteria style restaurant. I ordered chicken and potatoes...pretty basic but it tasted really good. I'll be a little more adventurous next time :-)
Then we went to buy breakfast foods. It was the most amazing store I have ever seen. It had candeliers and gold trim everywhere. Very upscale. There were security guards at the exits and so many people helping you weigh food and find things. And using Russian money is awesome because you are always carry around a wad of bills. The cents are cool too. One kopek (spelling?) is like 1/36 of penny so it is kinda not even worth bending down to pick one up off the ground.
Overall it has been a very good first international experience! Things are going very smoothly and everything is organized well!
Well I'm going to bed now. It is hard to grasp we are basically a day ahead of you. Miss you all!