We left late late in the evening for our flight from Karaganda to Almaty. It wasn't scheduled to leave until 11:55pm. Hauling 3 kids and 4 bags to the airport at 10 o'clock for a 2 hour flight where 1 kid decides not to sleep at all, adds up to 2 tired parents. Actually all the numbers in that last sentence add up to 20, but that number didn't seem significant. Maybe that could be the number of minutes I was downstairs in the baggage area with security?
Turns out that traveling with weapons in your checked baggage makes security guys ask a lot of questions. Not nice sounding ones like "Where did you buy such an awesome souvenir?" or "How did you talk your wife into letting you get something so cool?" but more like "These bomb-like items in your bags look strange to us and we'd like you to explain what they are." Geez, I didn't think the six baby doll toys would be a problem, Officer Man. Oxana came with me and explained the situation. I think she said something like "Just make sure he takes it or he'll try leaving this thing with me!" Well, whatever she said worked fine to get us on our way.
Our plane ride was not nearly as nice as the one to Karaganda. The plane was a little bigger than a tin can which was appropriate since we were jammed like sardines into it. We couldn't even cross our legs while seated - it was that tight. It also took twice as long as the other flight since the plane was prop driven instead of jet. And the compartment above Jamie's head was held on with tape. Maybe all this negativity is because someone didn't sleep at all on the flight. She only cried a little bit, but keeping a toddler entertained in a space that you can't cross your legs in is a tough one. I was also expecting a new Boeing 737 like the one we flew in on and a Fokker 50 just isn't the same.
But we made it!
The apartment we have in Almaty is the same one I spent the night in on my way out to get the boys. It has a nice little playground outside and we are within walking distance of a couple parks. We went to our adoption agency's offices for a few minutes to fill out visa applications for Sasha and then did some grocery shopping at the mall, but other than that we mostly just stayed in the apartment and tried to catch up on our sleep. There's plenty of time to explore the city tomorrow.
Jamie: We meet another couple working with our agency at the mall - it was a rather surreal experience. Here I am, trying to figure out how a single scoop of Baskin Robbins can possible cost 550 tengue when I swear it was only 300 tengue in Karaganda, when I see a couple and their child who we crossed paths with at the agency's office. I get ready to introduce myself and the kids when they greet us with, "Oh, we know all about you! You're the Morningstars - we've been following your blog!" It was cool because a big reason that we have kept up this blog is because others' blogs were so very helpful to us as we were researching and preparing for adoption and I'm glad that we've been able to do the same for this couple. But I'll have to admit that it was a little odd to have a total stranger know us by name. Small world!