2008.8 Rhine Valley 8.JPG copy
Rhine Valley, Germany


I ran into a little detour on my way to Moscow.  I arrived at the Frankfurt airport on Friday morning and found out that my Russian visa wasn’t valid until Monday.  I almost fell on the floor laughing, because it’s typical of how the whole expat process has gone so far.  Rebooking flights, finding a new hotel, trying to get my luggage back was not fun when I was jet lagged.


But I spent a nice weekend in Germany before heading to Moscow, and eased myself into life overseas.  Frankfurt is surprisingly small considering how big the airport is.  I took a tour of the Rhine Valley, met some really cool people, and had an interesting run-in with a crowd of Chinese people.  Seriously, why do Chinese people always want to take my picture?  And in Germany??  There are tons of people who look just like me!


I arrived in Moscow yesterday.  The immigration process leaves a lot to be desired.  I don’t remember it being that chaotic the last time I was here.  The non-Russian immigration lines were closed, which was somewhat confusing.  And there were no lines in the Russian immigration section.  Nope, just hundreds of sweaty people shouting and shoving and pushing their way towards the two immigration booths that were open.


The crowd would shove forward, and then security would shove the crowd back.  I don’t know if people were actually making it through immigration or not, because I never seemed to move anywhere.  Thank God they opened up a different section, and all the Europeans rushed off and formed proper queues.  Two hours later I met my grumpy taxi driver and headed to the hotel, my home for the next 1-2 months.


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