a long journey back to Bishkek

Regular posting (I assume) will resume once my sleep schedule is back to normal. At 8am this morning I finally arrived back to my house in Bishkek following a series of unfortunate delays every step of the way. After getting an earful from my attention-starved cat (luckily she was kept well-fed in my absence), I “took a nap” for the entire day. Now that it’s nearly 7pm, I figure I should attempt to get back to my routine.

Have I mentioned how much I don’t like flying? This trip has reinforced that. After leaving my dad’s house at 4am on Friday to catch my 6:20am flight from Philly to NYC, I arrived to the biggest clusterf**k check-in situation I’ve ever seen. Agonizing through a mile-long security line, we finally popped out on the other side to find that our flight was delayed a few hours. Initially ecstatic about this (our layover in JFK would have been ~7 hours otherwise), Farrell and I relaxed, enjoyed some coffee and roast beef sandwiches, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

A Delta rep gets on the loudspeaker and proclaims, “Uh, not sure how to explain this, but we seem to have lost the crew.” They were simply ignoring their scheduled flight and no attempts to get in touch with them (in this digital age?) were working. Delta considered getting all 15 of us on a van and driving us up to JFK (which is what I should have done in the first place) before the crew finally skulked to the gate around 11am. Luckily, we still had plenty of time to catch our big flight, New York to Moscow.

Except that flight got delayed, only a half-hour at first, then it took a while to get everybody on board, then we missed our slot for take-off and waited another half-hour or so on the runway before taking off. Our nearly two-hour layover in Moscow suddenly shrunk to 30 minutes, and we were immediately re-booked on the next flight to Bishkek… 16 hours later.

Here’s some rare praise for Aeroflot: they gave us a free hotel room, gave us free food, organized transportation for us back and forth from the airport, and upgraded us to business class. Props to Aeroflot for doing so much to avoid having us spend half a day wasting away in Terminal D.

But then our bags didn’t show up. Turns out some wonderful person in New York decided to ship them off to Istanbul instead of Moscow. Aeroflot doesn’t operate many flights between Istanbul and Moscow in any given week, so we get to wait several days to get our stuff back. (Update: We got our luggage back after two days and it appears that nothing was stolen. Another win for Aeroflot!)

Anyway, I think that’s where my memory card reader is, in Istanbul. Either there, in my checked baggage, or still at my mom’s house, forgotten, or somewhere around my house in Bishkek. I’m too tired and confused to figure this out. In the meantime, I’m anxiously waiting for the post-travel brain fog to lift and to get back to my normal routine in Bishkek.