Thursday, May 02, 2013

What? Where? When? Whoa.

Ok- next on the agenda...

Where? - That's what I said.

Ye Ghods.
This is gonna suck.

So I go chat up Travel Girl...
I give her the details and she waves me off-
"No worries- I'll get something arranged for you..."
(You can't rush Travel Girl. You wind up with a size 16 colon in a middle seat back by the bathroom on a trans-Atlantic hop after a close encounter with a pair of blue gloves and a TSA Speculum. Let her do her job in peace. Learn from my mistakes. Srsly.)

So I waited- watching my United travel app on my iPad.

When the booking finally showed up I was in the airport in Houston on my way Brooklyn with Blee and Dingo. I started walking through the cities, times and connections.

Looks like a good start...

DC to Frankfurt didn't look too bad...Only 10 hours.


Jeebus Pete. 10 hours to Frankfurt and 13 more to Kazan?
Gonna be a loooooong day.

Now... About coming home...

Wait a sec... Kazan to Istanbul? 18 Hours?
Oh HELLS no.

Dingo and Blee got quite a laugh, then we started google mapping.
1300 miles... 18 hours... that's... 76mph?

Dingo: "Did you piss off Travel Girl? 'Cause that looks like she's got you on an airline that uses Cessna 150s as their primary equipment."
Blee chimes in: "You're either riding in a zeppelin (Led or otherwise) or they are gonna tie a metric shitload of helium balloons to your happy ass and push you out the door."
Dingo: "I know... You'll go down the jetway in Kazan and there will be a bus labeled 'airplane'... Better you than me, Big Guy."

Blee is googling Selcon airlines- "It's a Nigerian outfit."
That explains it all...
I guess this is the latest iteration of the 419 Scam.
They sell you a ticket on-line then when you get to the airport, there is no airline, no flight, you're on your own.

I resolve to have a word with Travel Girl when I get back to the office.

So- in Kazan.
World University Games 2013... We're doing scoring and stats for Tennis.

Let's see-
Talk about an environment fraught with peril for an ogre far from home...
A couple thousand college kids- the law of averages says half of them will be female...

For instance- This is a cut-sheet from their press kit.

As I have said before - this can only end in tears.
Their tears will be from the shock and terror, mine will be from the tasers and pepper spray.

You heard it here first: This will probably end badly.
Film at 11.

Some of the REAL fun is figuring out how to code the equipment carnet to get our stuff in and out of Russia without 1) a huge number of bribes to everyone from Putin to the local dogcatcher in Kazan and 2) theft of all my equipment.
After all, what customs inspector couldn't use 8 or 9 laptops...

I have a friend in Minsk,
Who has a friend in Pinsk,
Whose friend in Omsk
Has friend in Tomsk
With friend in Akmolinsk.
His friend in Alexandrovsk
Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
Whose friend somehow
Is solving now
The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.

And when his work is done -
Haha! - begins the fun.
From Dnepropetrovsk
To Petropavlovsk,
By way of Iliysk,
And Novorossiysk,
To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
To Tomsk to Omsk
To Pinsk to Minsk
To me the news will run,
Yes, to me the news will run!
 - Lobachevsky - Tom Lehrer- (not this one, this one.)
 Yes- the solution is quite complicated, including photographing every single piece of equipment on the carnet and making each one a line item...
(Well, it's not quite that bad, but close.)
Oh, this is gonna be fun.
Stay tuned, kids.



kx59 said...

You just have all the fun.
Waiting with baited they say...for the rest of the story.
You made it out of H town just in time. Some jackass walked into Terminal B today with an AR, shot a few holes in the ceiling then when confronted by an armed cop, apparently committed suicide.

Borepatch said...

Err, you can do what you like, of course.

Me, I'd let Travel Girl know that her job is on the line if she didn;t set me up with a day for sightseeing in Moscow and a day for sightseeing in Istanbul. I'd point out what I do and how much money it brings into the company and what she does and how much money it takes out of the company.

But you are not as nasty as I am. Probably a good thing if you're going to have to fly to East Bumf**k Russia and back.

Damn, I'm turning into a douchebag ...

Borepatch said...

And +500 for the Tom Lehrer.

When you're back, let's meet up to shoot. Let me know when and where - even FLA in the summer.

Old NFO said...

And don't forget the ITAR restrictions... I feel for ya man...

The Big Guy said...

The story is still unfolding...
Saw the IAH shooting on the news. Yikes.
Strange times we are living in...

I have come to the conclusion that I need more time to enjoy a place. I did London in one day (after having 4 weeks to plan for it) and it felt too rushed. If I can't do 3 or 4 days, I think its a waste. The world is round, I'll get back there...

Re: Lerher... Amazing stuff. He's a hoot.
Loved his quote: "If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while."

Friggin' paperwork is killing me.