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World March Blog
22 October 2009

Arrival in Moscow

Yesterday was a very long and boring day.  I know I have been complaining about lack of sleep and too much work to do, but a nine and a half hour flight during the day across continental Asia with a computer battery that runs out after 2 hours, and on a flight with Aeroflot was just too much.  I would have preferred a night time flight and then arrive and go straight to a meeting and then complain later about how little I have slept on the plane!

I have to say that flying with Aeroflot is an experience I hope I never have to repeat.  Everything was going well until I stood up to ask the stewardess how lunch was cooked.  She had offered us “chicken or fish”.  All I was asking for was a slight expansion of the description: “chicken with rice and vegetable”, “cod in a tomato sauce with pasta”, or whatever it was.  Instead the ‘nice’ lady said to me, and I quote, “Sit down, open your table and tell me if you want chicken or fish”!  I was so shocked that I actually did what she asked, meekly replying, “chicken please”.  A better reply (or at least a more immediately satisfying reply) would have been, “Actually, I would rather eat my own lungs than take the food you are trying to give me”.  I can also say that my own lungs would have been more appetising than the chicken.  Fortunately I am not as rude as the crew of Aeroflot.

If that had been the only incident then maybe you could ignore it, but every time the crew passed us they said something in a similar tone, like we were naughty school children.

Eventually we arrived and immediately noticed the drop in temperature from about 15 degrees in Seoul to about 5 degrees in Moscow.  We got the luggage (which is growing by the day) and passed through customs and met our host, Juan Carlos, a Spaniard living in St Petersburg and the lovely Lucy who is 4 months pregnant and accompanying the Base Team for a couple of weeks instead of the 2 and a half months she was previously imaging more than 4 months ago…

We had to go straight for the train to central Moscow and had no time to find something evocative of Russia in front of which we could take some photos.  We’ll have to do that today.

That’s when it all started to get complicated and stressful.  Getting to central Moscow was easy enough but then we had to take 2 metros with a change of line during a busy time of day on a day when a big European football match was taking place in Moscow.  Each of us with at least 25 kilograms of luggage struggling as best we could through the crowd.  Gerard at one moment had to fight off an attack from pick-pockets while struggling to pull his bag into a train carriage as the doors were closing on him.

Note to coordinators in future countries through which the base team will pass: if you plan to take 20 people newly arrived into a new city with their luggage onto the local public transport system, please make alternative arrangements and find a bus that will transport us directly from the airport to the hotel.  Every member of the base will happily find the money to pay for the extra expense rather than live through the experience of the Moscow underground once again!

However, the Moscow metro system is a wonder of the world!  It’s so beautifully designed and decorated.  It’s like a museum or a gallery.  I mean, they spent a fortune building it!

Anyway, we reached or hotel, checked in and after downloading mails, I collapsed in bed at 11pm which was 4:00am Korean time!

Must go now.  Meeting with Gorbachev’s people.

Big hug,

Tony

14 comments to Arrival in Moscow

  • EHdeCasas

    eXCELENT tONY YPOUR UPDATING COMMNETS

  • EHdeCasas

    Excellent this comments and the accurate updating.
    Thanks.
    Congratulation
    Bone courage!
    HUGS
    Tito

  • Dear Tony, from Prague a very big HUG for you and all friends of the WM. Thanks for the news.

  • Querido Tony, has de entender que en el pasado sistema socialista “el cliente NUNCA tenía la razón” y era tratado como un niño que necesita mucha severidad…
    jejejej
    esto lo aprendí en Polonia con tanta sorpresa como te ha producido a tí la azafata de Aeroflot. No es toda la gente, como te podrás imaginar, pero si les sucede a algunos que todavía se mueven con esas formas diferenciadoras.
    Si sucediera de nuevo ya sabes, te imaginas a la persona en cuestión en alguna situación cómica de su vida cotidiana y asi de paso, te diviertes un rato.
    Muchos besos para todos.
    PFA
    Africa

  • eheheehe is terrible! but you are our heroes! :-)

  • Anita

    Dear Tony and Friends!
    It is always hard to fly more than 4-5 hours. Hopefully, despite of the chilly weather, you’ll have a wonderful time in Russia! Can’t wait for the news. So exciting! Big hugs from Hungary.

  • It is sad that the WM team has to go through many rough experience. But, this is a fact that may, unfortunately, get repeated again, inspite of the best efforts of the local hosts at various places.
    Tony (& friends), you are getting tougher by the day, like hardening-tempering of steel and I am sure, if (unfortunately) you have to travel aeroflot (or similar airline again) again, you will enjoy it better that this one. Though, we wish you don’t have to go through this ever again.
    Thousands and thousands of people across the world are with you, wishing you the best at all times and surely all these good-wishes combined with the great selfless action that you are doing will see you through any kind of adventure/difficulty.
    All the best for Russia and beyond.
    big hugs,
    Sudhir.

  • gwen

    hi Tony and all members of the team !!
    Tony, thank you for all articles.
    Have good time in moscow !! We are all with you !!

  • Петр

    Рад видеть в России всех участников Всемирного Марша за мир и ненасилие.
    Спасибо за ваш подвиг в движении к миру без войн и насилия.
    Здоровья и удачи!

  • sonia olondo

    Incredibly clear and nice to read your reports Tony. What you write is very close and shows great sensitivity. Thanks a lot .We definetely admire your effortand wish you best of lucks.

  • sanna

    Dear base team we wish you a lot of patience during your journey,and r waiting u to come in Finland.
    enjoy your visit in Russia ,and be warmly welcome in Finland , hugs, sanna

  • Gemma Suzara

    Hello Tony,
    I was laughing while reading your comments re trip to Moscow but jokes aside I had a similar experiince when I flew with TAROM airlines(Rumania)…don’t even know if it still exists…but it was a shock to find the crew upon borading with legs stretched high up on the front seat, they were all wearing singlets as I guess it was too hot being in Singapore and the women were like “wrestlers” big and rough…
    Wishing you all better experiences to come!
    big hug,
    Gemma
    Tomorrow I start taping a 50 minute TV show as they asked me back and this time with a co-host….will be forever talking about the WM, giving updates of what transpired during the week and themes about NV in general and in detail.

  • HOLA A [email protected]! [email protected] DEL MUNDO!
    NUESTRA VIDA SIEMPRE SE HA REGIDO POR PRINCIPIOS BÁSICOS QUE NORMAN NUESTRO EXISTIR: POR LA PAZ Y LA NO VIOLENCIA. NOS HA ENTUSIASMADO MUCHO ESTA CONVOCATORIA PORQUE PODEMOS COMPROBAR QUE NO SOMOS LOS ÚNICOS EN EL PLANETA QUE COMPARTIMOS UTOPÍAS.

    EN NUESTRO CASO EL DE MI ESPOSA Y YO…PENSAMOS QUE ES NECESARIO, URGENTE E IMPOSTERGABLE INSISTIR EN QUE EL HAMBRE, ES UNA FORMA DE VIOLENCIA VERGONZANTE E INNECESARIA, ES IMPRESCINDIBLE CONVOCAR A LA CONSCIENCIA PLANETARIA (INDIVIDUAL Y COLECTIVA) SOBRE LA IMPORTANCIA DE COMPRENDER QUE LA DIVERSIDAD CULTURAL Y PLURIÉTNICA TIENDE A LA UNIDAD PASANDO DE LA CONTRADICCCIÓN A LA UNIDAD QUE EN EL CASO DE ANAWAK (MÉXICO)…EL MAÍZ, SIMBOLIZA NUESTRA IDENTIDAD PRIMIGENIA.

    LAMENTABLEMENTE, QUIENES NOS GOBIERNAN, DESPRECIAN DICHA IDENTIDAD, APROBANDO HACE UNOS DÍAS, EXPERIMENTOS GENÉTICOS DE MAÍZ TRANSGÉNICO…QUE IRREMEDIABLEMENTE CONTAMINARÁN Y LESIONARÁN NUESTROS CULTIVOS NATURALES. ENVENENANDO CON HERBICIDAS Y “FERTILIZANTES”…EL AGUA Y LA TIERRA.

    NUESTRA PROPUESTA DESDE HACE UN PAR DE DÉCADAS HA SIDO…LUCHAR PORQUE LOS SERES HUMANOS INCIDAMOS EN ASEGURAR LA CONCRECIÓN DE LAS SIGUIENTES PREMISAS NECESARIAS PARA QUE LA HUMANIDAD SEA CON DIGNIDAD, JUSTICIA Y DECORO: ALIMENTO, VIVIENDA, SALUD, TRABAJO, EDUCACIÓN, SEGURIDAD Y SERVICIOS.

    COMPRENDEMOS DESDE SIEMPRE QUE CUALQUIER BANDERA QUE NOS ORIENTE HACIA ESE SENDERO, SERÁ COMPARTIDA POR QUIENES ACTUALMENTE NOS VOLVEMOS A ADHERIR A MOVIMIENTOS DE ESTA NATURALEZA!…POR LA PAZ Y LA NO VIOLENCIA!…(OLÍN AHIMSA) MOVIMIENTO POR LA NO VIOLENCIA Y LA NO INTERVENCIÓN.

    SALUDOS FRATERNOS

  • Remígio

    Yes, you are our heroes! :’)