Brussels airport and I’m looking up a the departure board. Moscow 0925. This is it !I’d got the 0605 from Edinburgh earlier – never slept, never do with an early rise. I should be a burst baw but Im buzzin’.
Theres Scotland fans milling about. Part of me is reassured : well at least I’m no’ the only crazy bastard going to Russia. Part of me is annoyed – “fuck off , this is ma adventure beyond the iron curtain, the former Soviet Union – no’ wanting some pished guy fae Arbroath spoiling it”.
And then we’re in the sky. Good seat in the aisle, stretch ma legs…but wait a minute…window seat over there. That’ll do me.
Love a window seat. Elaine doesn’t get it , just doesnae fuckin’ get it.
Me – look look theres the Danube, E – (looks out) Meh , Me – oooh oooh the Alps! (points finger) E – (doesn’t look out) Meh Me – look, a UFO with Bon Jovi on it E – Meh…wait..WHAT!?
So, I’m looking at the landscape far below trying to work it out. An hour gone…probably near Berlin. Two hours now…must be on the Polish/Belarus border. Three hours…this is defo Russia…we’re nearly there…we’re nearly there! Moscow ! You’re really going to Moscow! (whistles ‘Wind of Change’ by Scorpions).
The upside of solo travel is you can do what you want, when you want. The downside is no-ones got your back, nobody saying ‘right , have you got your ticket?’ So, Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow – I’m on my own and mild panic sets in.
Passport, visa, mobile, tickets all present and correct – ah shite do you remember the time at Bogota airport when they detained you coz you’d no proof of your hotel reservation? ..please let me thru please let me thru…is the visa correct…better double check…fuck whats Russian for thank you again? Spasibo thats it. Dont smile at the Russian customs officer dont fuckin smile!
And then, I’m thru ! Spasibo spasibo ! I could greet. I’m at Sheremetyevo airport railway station waiting for the Aerorexpress to Belorusskaya station in Moskva, Russia. Grinning like an idiot. I’m here…I’m really here.