And here I am on the plane. British Airways. First class even (the insurance company doesn’t seem to fly people in economy).
And there is Russia. Look over there. You can see it receding in the distance. I have successfully entered at one end, not got all the appropriate stamps and forms, but managed to leave at the other end.
I sometimes (like right now for starters) characterise my travels in Russia as a kind of ongoing war. Here is me, lone warrior (who just wants to see the world a bit and meet some nice people without too much trouble), ranged against the forces of evil (who get in my way at every step, overcharge, obstruct and, most recently, infect me with nasty illnesses in a bid to ruin my travels).
This time I managed a victory in the battle to get out. (And I do always feel relieved when I get the last stamp and manage to get to the departure lounge, because my documents are never entirely in order). But they struck a few blows home as well. In particular I lost a month of travelling in western Russia. Even if, in return, I had the exciting experience of spending some time in hospital.
I guess that this means I will have to come back at some point. Travelling here is not easy. So I might have to go trip around some easy places first, to kind of get my strength up. My summer holiday in New Zealand looks like a better and better idea every day.