I have arrived in Russia! Currently buying internet at the hotel, we have just finished dinner and I am exhausted. Jet lag has clearly set in. Tomorrow night we will check-out and move-in with our host families! I am very excited to meet them, as I have no information about them at all.
My flight from Chicago to Moscow was delayed a few hours. This caused my lay-over in Moscow to be extremely hasty. I made my flight with only a few minutes to spare. Going through passport control and customs, getting my baggage, checking in, paying fees, and then going through security once again was an adventure in itself. The Moscow airport is huge and very modern. Fully modeled with glass windows and walls, fancy tile, and expensive department stores, it was bustling with people who had no consideration for your place in line or your personal space.
On the upside… Russian hospitality on airlines is pretty interesting. As you may know, many american-airlines do not serve food on flights any longer. Sometimes they even charge for drinks, (ahem, Spirit). But on Russian Airlines I not only was given as many beverages as I wanted, but I was given a sandwich, mints, and coffee/tea. Mind you, this was a 1 hour flight.
I will have more anecdotes at a later date.