I have to say I was genuinely taken aback by the new Domodedovo Airport building. I didn’t get much of a feel for it when I arrived on Friday, but walking through yesterday I can tell you that it really is very nice indeed, and would rival anything in Western Europe. As we approached the last security check I got my second surprise of the morning. There has been talk recently of trialling full body scanners in UK airports. Not surprisingly there was instant uproar from all manner of groups claiming an infringement of human rights, perversion, child abuse and goodness knows what else. Clearly such protests have no place in post communist Russia as into the full body scanner we went without so much as a murmur. Once on the other side I was slightly surprised to see the viewing area was partly open to passengers walking through. I could clearly see my slim, butt naked frame, rotating happily on the security guards screen as I fixed my belt and jacket. I’m sure many would have an issue with that slightly alarming lack of privacy but I must be honest it didn’t really bother me. Of course having said that, I don’t have breast implants, plastic appendages or a glass eye to worry about, so perhaps I’m not really the best judge. Once the scrutiny was over however, we had a pleasant wait with an expertly prepared latte in the comfortable departure lounge.
Sadly once on board the Kogalym flight, things were nowhere near as plush. The grim reality of where I was actually heading, finally hit home for the first time that morning. Not quite the travel nightmare I used to endure eleven years ago, but certainly not BA either. The only thing I can say in its defence, is the rather cavalier attitude towards safety is fairly liberating. People happily wander about the isle during taxiing, bags fall from overhead racks during takeoff and everyone enjoys a nice smoke in the toilets during the flight. I read my book and kept my head down. Not exactly a brace position, but it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch.
And so finally we landed in Kogalym. Another two hours time difference takes my tally to a nice round five. We checked the weather forecast before leaving Moscow and were surprised to see that it had only just made it into minus double figures. Consequently it was still a sultry minus fourteen when we landed. Nothing by Kogalym standards, but frosty enough for me after four years in Bahrain. The temperature is set to plummet this week however. By Friday we’ll be hitting minus thirty and falling. My job here depends on land based drilling rigs in the field being able to drill and log a well. As the mercury (or alcohol) slides ever closer to minus forty, things have a tendency to stop working altogether. If that happens, it will make for a jolly quiet ten days. Rest assured however, I’ll keep you posted on the status. There’s even a big clock/thermometer in the town centre, ill see if I can post a picture of the temperature along with the blog updates for you.
Anyway chaps and chapesses. Please keep warm and please keep reading, after all, we’re in it for the long hall now.