This time next week I will no longer be complaining about the dreadful heat and wondering how long it will be before my makeup has puddled at my feet. I am finally through all the paperwork and I am off to RUSSIA! I can’t quite believe it yet, but it is happening. I leave Thailand next Wednesday (December 11) and arrive in Yuzhno on Thursday. It’s already snowing there and I want to thank the lovely Wandering Quilter for keeping me up to date on life in Yuzhno while I have been waiting nervously for the paperwork to be finalized.
I fly, Siberian Airways, from Bangkok to Khabarovsk and arrive there at 4.30 am, so I’m picking there is not going to be any real sight seeing going on at that time, but I am hopeful that wee Missy Fleur will get a little walk and some freedom from her travel bag.
An aeriel shot of Khabarovsk airport – in the summer
At 9.30 am I board another Siberian Airline flight for the last leg of the trip to Yuzhno, and I land there a little after 11 am on the 12th of December.
The fabulous people organizing my trip have been very thorough. The dog is booked and registered to fly with me, and all I have to do is turn up at the Thai Quarantine Office for the final check before departure. I have all her paperwork in order and the final Vet Certificate is complete. It’s amazing how cheap the process is in Thailand. The Vet clearance cost me just 100 TBH, about $US 3. In Korea it cost me a little over $US 150 and in Vietnam is was closer to $US 200.
I will be met at the airport and I am really looking forward to meeting the people that have set this all up after months of emails, phone calls, and Skype chats. They have been so kind and so helpful and it will be great to finally be able to say hello and thank you in person. Eugenia, who is my main contact person, has become a bit of a miracle worker in my mind. She manages to sort out every wrinkle with ease, and she gets the world’s biggest gold star for having incredible communication skills. I have never been left wondering what is going on, if there is something I need to be doing, or with an unanswered question. She really is amazing, and I have felt included in all the preparations and throughout the process. Those that have chosen the ex-pat lifestyle will understand how important this is, and how rare!
After the earlier nightmares of the Embassy in Bangkok (see earlier posts!) the process to collect my Visa was smooth and painless. I was at the door at 9 am, this time I only managed ticket number 2, but I had my passport back and was out the door by 9.15 am! I did have a brief chat with a lovely Russian fellow, he helped me translate the machine issuing the tickets so I got the right one, and we chatted further at the counter. He was from Moscow and in Thailand on holiday with his Mama. He was very interested to hear of my excitement to be going to Russia and he thinks I have chosen a great place to begin the Russian adventure.
I am a little concerned about clothing and having enough warm goodies to wear. When I initially elected to go to Russia I had thought there would be time to stock up on warm clothing once I was there, but with all the delays I will be arriving to snow covered ground and already low temperatures so I may have to invest in a few extra items pretty quickly. It’s not easy to buy woolly scarves, gloves and hats in Thailand! With the loss of my shipment from Korea I sadly have none of the wonderfully warm boots and coats I had bought there.
My apartment is ready and waiting for me, and I am sure I will be in urgent need of its amenities after lugging baggage in unbearable heat and then all night aboard a flight. This time next week I will be able to work on my first posts from Russia…