It’s happening. I’m going to Russia. Like sitting in an airport terminal waiting to get on the plane. This definitely makes me the authoritative expert on how to do it, right?
The last few weeks have been dominated by the dawning realization that not only am I going to Ukhta, but I’m going to live there for a year. Thus the last few steps in the series of how to go to Russia:
- Go shopping. Amazon is your friend. You are now Amazon’s friend too, because between wool socks, computer speakers, and Ohio tourist paraphernalia (sidenote: why can’t I find Ohio postcards or refrigerator magnets anywhere?), you’ve raised their stock value by a millionth of a point.
- Go more shopping. Because you need to dress like a grown-up, and for the last 21 years of your life you have stubbornly dressed your actual age (or younger), so you have nothing to work with.
- Go on a road trip. Travel from Ohio to Michigan to Indiana back to Michigan back to Ohio. This help you in your next two objectives…
- Get a valedictory sunburn. Because your car air conditioning is broken, and you’re driving five hours with the window open and your left arm in as much breeze (and therefore sun) as possible (sidenote: does “trucker tan” count as culturally interesting vocabulary?).
- Say goodbye to everyone you know. Friends, professors, sister, grandparents, casual acquaintances.
- Pack. This may take, like, 4 days. Because the Amazon package with your computer speakers won’t arrive till the day you leave.
- Repack. Because the bag of VMA/HDMI/other cables and the bag of necessary toiletries won’t both fit in your carryon.
- Repack. Because now you can’t zip any of your bags.
- Complete last-minute shoe repair. Right, those boots, half the lining is missing. Super glue is really convenient, and then you can stitch the patches in place while riding to the airport. During said attempt wish that you, and not just the cobbler, had some elves to help you out.
- Say goodbye to the last two people you know. Bye Mom and Dad. See you soon… ish.
For the record, I fit everything (including lots of decaf tea and some candles that smell like home) into one checked bag, one carry-on suitcase, and a backpack. It IS possible.