Well I’m finally back home in Russia and it feels so good to be here. The journey back from the airport itself was an adventure that I’m glad is over. Anyway, I arrived in Moscow and went through passport control. This in itself is always a bit stressful but I got through with no problems. Then I went in search of my baggage. After what happened in St. Petersburg I was incredibly wary of losing my luggage. Fortunately my suitcase did arrive. The only problem was getting to it. The baggage reclaim area is incredibly small and I’m convinced there was more than one flight’s baggage on it. There was literally a crush of people all around. I could hardly move as I waited forever for my bag to arrive.
Once I finally had it, I made my way out and got a marshrutka to the metro. I rode the metro without a problem until it came time to change lines. As I was walking up the steps in the metro to the next line, the handle on my suitcase came loose in my hand. My suitcase went rolling down the steps and I was left holding the plastic handle. I went down to fetch it when a young man approached me and asked me if I needed some help. I said yes and he helped to bring it up the steps. Now I was left trying to figure out how to pull it along the rest of the way.
I got on the other metro line and contemplated whether to take the train or a bus home because I hadn’t brought enough money for a taxi. I decided to take a train because it would be easier to take my suitcase on a train than lift it up onto a bus which would then be quite small and with limited room. So I went to the train station. As soon as I stepped off the metro there was another man there with a small cart. He offered to transport my suitcase for me so I said okay. There were quite a few steps out of the metro as well so I was happy for the help. I followed him closely as we exited the metro and went to the train station. I was afraid that at any moment an accomplice would show up and they would steal my suitcase.
But he delivered it to the ticket counter and I paid him 250 rubles for his services. Then I bought a train ticket and boarded the train. After arriving in my city, I got off the train and had to make it out of the train station which, again, had quite a few stairs. This time a young woman saw me struggling with it and offered some help.
Once out of the train station I was faced with the fifteen minute walk to my flat. Ordinarily this wouldn’t have been a problem but there was about three inches of snow on the ground, I was wearing heels and my suitcase could only be pulled by the small cloth handle on top. But I was determined to make it and so I set off at a snail’s pace, bent over pulling my suitcase which kept hitting me in the heels as I took tiny steps toward home. About a third of the way there, a couple stopped me and asked if they could help. The man took off his belt and looped it through the cloth handle. They each took a side of the belt and pulled my suitcase all the way home.
On the way they asked me what happened, where I was from, if I was a foreigner and why on earth I hadn’t hired a taxi to bring my things home. I told them my story, how the handle broke, etc. They even asked me if this was my first time in Russia and advised me to call a taxi next time. But they were incredibly nice and insisted on taking my suitcase all the way home, after stopping for a short cigarette break, of course. The woman even helped me bring it through my landing and up the steps to the lift. I thanked them profusely and had never been so happy to be home.