Coffee Mania

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Originally uploaded by dansteeves68.

First I gotta tell you that I took this photo with my new Sony phone, sent it via MMS to flickr ($1.30 per on Cingular world roaming), then blogged from flickr seconds later ($? don't know how much boingo is charging for this connection)...
I'm awake at 2am Moscow time, 5am Novosibirsk time which is what my body is on. I'm mostly having fun, but also hoping the all-nighter will help me acclimate back to US time faster when I get home tomorrow night.
Today was another day of "This is Russia, shit happens." Sam and I took a taxi to the Novosibirsk airport together. We had to stop at a bank in the city for him to pick up a replacement credit card. All went well to that point and the taxi driver and I shared pictures on our phones while Sam was inside. Taxi driver is a student at the military academy (see tank photo) in Akademgorodok.
Then we got lost trying to find the bridge, and not just a little bit. Then we hit serious traffic on the airport side of the river. My stress level is up to 11 worried we'll miss the flight. Then we get caught in a speed trap at the city limits. The police won't just take money off the record, they want to actually issue a ticket. 15 minutes later we're back on the road.
We arrive at the airport with 20 min to spare. 15 of this elapse while Aeroflot attempts to issue Sam a ticket for the flight. We choose and use the "fast" security option which is a machine you stand inside to be scanned like an x-ray. Sam says "you don't want to do it too often." Jeez...
Sam checks us in, then we wait over a couple .5 liter bottles of beer. Hey, this is Russia! We board, work on the flight, eat, work, sleep, land. When we land Sam goes to find our arranged taxi and I wait for my bag. Then I have to beg to be let out of baggage claim because Sam must have the ticket for my bag. Very fast taxi ride into Moscow, and here I am... What a night. (Sings "oh what a night...")