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Hi guys. You all know how much I love Russia and sometimes like to write about my take on aspects of life in your country, well, here's my experience at Russian airports and on board planes with you guys) Enjoy)🤗🤗🤗

1) When you arrive early to check in, you shouldn't bother thinking, "Oh, this ought to be quick. There are only 3 people in front of me." Wrong! No! Take those three people and multiply that number by 20 when they invite all their friends and relatives to join them at the front of the line. So if you see three people in front of you, check in will take a good hour.

2) Russian airports are actually very efficient compared to many European ones I've been to. Going through passport control with my visa and paperwork is fast and harmless. So good job Russia. But I beg security officials at passport control at Russian airports: a little tiny non-miserable life-ending I-hate-all-these-people-i check smile would go a long way to say "Welcome to Russia!" 

3) I have become very Russian over the years. I have to stock up on goods in duty free even though I know the same goods are cheaper in my local Diksi. Duty Free is, was and always will be more expensive than buying the same goods locally. But I still do it. It's fun. And having bags of duty free makes me look rich in the eyes of passengers around me!

4) I am really impressed with Aeroflot despite some of the conditions the staff work under. But one thing Russian cabin crew share with any airline around the world: When I board, they look at my boarding pass and tell me where to go "To the right, Sir." As if I am bound to get lost down a tube with one aisle. I managed to get myself to the airport. I really think I can find my seat. But thanks anyway, it's pleasant 😊

5) One thing I always notice flying among Russians is the following (and i would like any of you to share with me your experience flying with other nationalities): the plane takes off and reaches cruising altitude. The seat belt signs go off and immediate half the plane gets up and rushes to the toilet. It's seriously like a Royal Rumble. I mean, it's only 30 mins since we left the terminal. Is something wrong?

6) Now, yesterday I flew back from Riga. And something VERY UNUSUAL happened! The plane landed.... and..... NOBODY CLAPPED!!!!! What on earth has happened??????? Times are changing, my friends! Maybe many Russians finally accept that the pilot's job is in fact to land the plane safely. It's kinda in his job description. If anything, my friends, you should clap when exiting a Mashrutka. 

7) You've landed (let's assume it's a big airport), the plane has taxied to the terminal. Suddenly, the seat belt sign goes off... and now the race is on!!! People stand up, get their belongings out of the overhead lockers, jackets on, stand in the aisle for 10 minutes with everyone else until permission is given to open the doors and disembark... The desperation to be first out is incredible... often onto a waiting bus that will wait for other passengers. But must be first. You rush to passport control with the warm smiles not waiting for you, you're through, rush to baggage reclaim... wait 10 minutes and everyone else from the flight has arrived with the last people's luggage usually coming out first) But it was a good race, nonetheless)

8) Ahhhhh taxi drivers. I can see how they try to rip off foreigners. I asked for a taxi (Yandex by the way) in arrivals. He said, "Brat, to Marino, very very far, my friend. 6000 Rubles, my friend. Special deal just for you! You want?" Of course the poor taxi driver had no idea I'd been living in Russian for almost 13 years. My reply in Russian is not something I can write here))) But I got my taxi home eventually for the right price. It doesn't matter which country you're in. Manyyyyyyyy taxi drivers will try to rip you off)

Now, to conclude, I want to stress this: those points above are what makes Russians for me lovable (apart from point 1). I am sure some of you have experiences travelling aboard other airlines. As an Englishman aboard those cheap European carriers, I have been close to heavily drunken guys on a stag weekend, people fighting, couples almost making babies, starvation because a sandwich cost 10 Euros. Travelling among Russians is peaceful and at times amusing)

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