Siberia, Russia Part 3 – Communist Planes and Defining “Fluent”

Written by Rick Chapo

Inrepparttar first two parts of this series, we covered my decision to move from San Diego to Chita, Siberia to be a professor at Chita State Technical University. We pick uprepparttar 140110 story aboardrepparttar 140111 flight from Anchorage to Khabarovsk, Russia.

Day 3

Technically, it’s day two and half. I think. Time began to blur as we flew overrepparttar 140112 international date line. Wait, do we add a day or lose a day? I was so confused that I didn’t know whether to whine about losing or gaining a day in my life. Whatever day it was, we were flying along happily on Aeroflot.

I must say that communism had some things going for it. The average airline ticket inrepparttar 140113 U.S. should come with a shoehorn to help wedge you intorepparttar 140114 seat. God forbid ifrepparttar 140115 person in front of you should put their seat back. Damn people in first class! Communism solved this problem nicely.

I wouldn’t say our plane was old, butrepparttar 140116 younger planes around our gate were crowding in to hear our plane tell stories aboutrepparttar 140117 first flight ofrepparttar 140118 Wright brothers. Despite some interesting details [My God, does that look like a crack inrepparttar 140119 wing? That better not be duct tape!],repparttar 140120 “maturity” of our flying bull had some distinct advantages.

A central concept of communism is that there is only one class of people, to wit,repparttar 140121 workers. Theoretically, everyone getsrepparttar 140122 same treatment. The benefits of this theory are debatable, but I can tell you it stomps capitalism intorepparttar 140123 ground when it comes to flying.

The seating compartment on our plane was uniformly first class. There was plenty of space for one’s rump and legs. Each two-seat section wasrepparttar 140124 equivalent of three seats on a U.S. airline. It was at least two feet torepparttar 140125 seat in front of me. Those that fly a lot will understand as I quietly shed a tear in memory of that flight. Dozing comfortably, I didn’t give a damn ifrepparttar 140126 wings fell off. At least we were going in style!

Siberia, Russia Part 2 – Where Are We and What Day Is It?

Written by Rick Chapo

Siberia, Russia Part 2 – Where Are We and What Day Is It?

Standing inrepparttar airport in San Diego, I began to wonder exactly how long it was going to take to get torepparttar 140109 city of Chita in Siberia. The combination of a vodka hangover, three flights, one train ride and a jump overrepparttar 140110 international date line didn’t help. At first glance, it looked like a total of two days, which wasn’t bad for going torepparttar 140111 other side ofrepparttar 140112 earth.

I should have paid more attention in math.

The itinerary for getting from San Diego to Chita read like this:

1.Fly from San Diego to Seattle.

2.Meet charity representative and other professor.

3.Fly from Seattle to Anchorage.

4.Fly from Anchorage on Aeroflot [gulp] to Khabarovsk, Russia.

5.Take train from Khabarovsk to Chita.

How bad could it be? Very, very, very bad. Did I mention “bad”?

Day 1

The flight to Seattle was no problem. I met Tom Dickinson,repparttar 140113 founder of Siberian Intercultural Bridges, but we couldn’t findrepparttar 140114 other teacher. Turns outrepparttar 140115 flight to Anchorage wasn’t tillrepparttar 140116 next morning, so it didn’t really appear to be a problem. Around midnight, our attitude changed and we had written offrepparttar 140117 teacher.

Day 2

At 8 a.m., Grea Waters from Kentucky appears out ofrepparttar 140118 Seattle mist. We have our second professor and

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use