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A Lift in Moscow

In Moscow hitch-hiking is more normal, and cheaper, than taking a taxi. You just negotiate a price with the driver. When our pre-arranged car did not arrive at 4:30 a.m. to take us to the airport, our Russian host was aroused from his hotel bed to help us, because we speak no Russian. He flagged down a car and negotiated a price to take us to the airport. We loaded our luggage in the back, causing the raised security flap to block the rear window of the car. Perhaps this is the reason the policeman stopped us. He politely reviewed the driver's documents and we were on our way in less than five minutes.

At the airport, the street that led up to the front of the terminal was blocked by small metal barriers, diverting traffic to let off passengers at an inconvenient location requiring much walking and some stairs. Our driver spoke to the policeman at the barrier, asking to be allowed to drive by the barrier to let off his passengers. There was some discussion in Russian between them. Then the policeman walked over to the barrier and moved it aside for us to pass through. At the top of the ramp was another string of similar barriers, but the driver eased his car between them to drop us at the curb immediately in front of the terminal.

>From what little Russian language we had it seems that the policeman was convinced to let us through for the sake of "little mother," the white-haired septuagenarian in the front seat! Such kind people!




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