Although I arrived in Yuzhno on Friday morning, to me Saturday, March 9, was my first real day here. Reason being, after not sleeping on the flight here, and all the busyness of getting packed and moved out of Norway, all I wanted to do yesterday was sleep….. and I did for most of it.
After an 8 hour, over night flight from Moscow, we landed to sunshine and fairly mild temperatures in Yuzhno. The airport is tiny…….bus into the terminal, one luggage carousel, with nearly 300 passengers rivaling to get their suitcases and get on their way. David came in to help me organize my luggage – three suitcases plus a fairly large dog kennel…… not to mention the cat and other carry-on luggage. They brought the dog in and left his kennel on the floor by the back (arrival) door. It didn’t take very long before we had everything – I took Snoopy outside, and he couldn’t wait to christen his first Sakhalin snow bank.
We piled everything into the taxi, and off we went to the apartment, taking a bit of a scenic route…… I wish I had been a bit wider awake so as to really appreciate what I saw. We got home, hauled everything inside, and introduced Jenny to the tiny room housing her litter. Almost as soon as we had both pets watered and fed, we headed off for a nap. I was so tired, I almost felt a bit sick.
A brief walk,some toast and another nap…., a bit of grocery shopping. then out to a nice restaurant(People) for dinner. After a bit of BBC News TV (the only English channel here), an early night.
This morning I kind of crawled onto the day, about half an hour after David brought me a cup of coffee. He had the breakfast vegetables in the pan when I came out from the shower……mmmmm, it smelled good. Snoopy was ready to head out for a long walk, and so were we. David was determined to find me some waterproof boots, and a new pair of ice grippers, as one of those I brought from Norway broke the first time I went to put it on.
There is definitely ice and snow here. A week after a big storm, they are still clearing the tall piles of snow from between the roads and sidewalks. In places, you walk beside 8 foot likes of snow, and only discover when you come to a man hole that you are walking on 2-3 feet of packed snow on the street.
We stopped at the Moose Head Bar, operated by a Canadian from Calgary. There is also a gym there – a really good one that is open early and, as we stopped for David to renew his monthly membership, also has yoga classes.
No boots or ice grippers today, but a great, if chilly, day in the sun. I think it’s going to be fun living here – and oh…… so much to learn!