(or Oto returns to his hometown)
As some of you may or may not know, I was born and raised in Russia, and I've only been living in Canada (and, consequently, speaking/writing/reading English) since just before high school. Since then, I hadn't been back there - until this summer.
The circumstances of my trip to Russia weren't the best - I went there to look after my grandmother whose health has been getting increasingly poor, and noone else in the family could or would go to help out. Still, I knew I’d make the best of it – coming back to a place where you’ve grown up after not seeing it for 8 years is quite something. All the better since my best friends were still there, and we’d been in contact.
I grabbed a cheap digital camera with a big memory stick, intending to take pictures. Of all and everything. That intention I certainly fulfilled. As I took over 7,000 pictures and have nothing better to do with them, I shall post some around here. No, not all of them. But a lot.
Mind you, most of them are of one city, St. Petersburg, but that is accurate to my own experience of Russia through my life there. During the 14 years of my growing up there, I very rarely left that area.
Anyway, I’ll start this at the very beginning.
July 1st, 2006
Radies and gentremen,
Point of departure (Oto's actual house in Canada). This is where I’m posting from presently.
It’s ironic that I left the country on July 1st (Canada Day).
After a ceremony-free goodbye to the family, I set off alone on a rather mundane bus ride to Montreal, some two hours away. Getting into the airport was surprisingly simple (so much for the security scares), and soon I was staring at this:
The aircraft involved in the incident, Montreal's Pierre Trudeau Airport.
I mean the plane I flew on.
As it also may or may not be known, I’m a huge fan of airplanes – flight simulators, models, films and what have you.
I had a ticket for the regular Czech Airlines flight between Montreal and Prague, from where I would transfer to St. Petersburg. Ironically, this may well be the same plane that brought me to Canada more than 8 years earlier.
Czech Airlines is an excellent carrier, known to be the best in Eastern Europe, and certainly living up to the title. Have nothing but good things to say for them – good service, pretty good food, good flying, very reasonable pricing.
The plane is an Airbus A310 with its slightly chubby football shape. A good un-fancy trans-atlantic ride.
An hour-some later, I was in the plane, snapping off pictures of the neighbouring Air France jet.
Soon we were moving and lining up for the runway.
That's right. I violated the rule of not using electronic devices aboard during takeoff.
And off it was!
…for all my love of planes, I soon discovered that flying was a mixed pleasure for me; in fact it was a mixed pleasure BECAUSE I knew too damn much about the things.
*to be continued*