Saturday, May 9, 2009


So we are back from Russia and have had a little time to calm down and look back at all of the funny things that happened like almost dying. Now before the trip our agency had prepared us for a number of things one of those being traffic patterns in Russia. After hearing their description I had taken a deep breath and resigned myself to getting in an accident. People in Russia drive like they stole it with a truck full of drugs and are currently in a high speed chase with LA's finest right on their tail! And that was just leaving the airport we hadn't even gotten to any real traffic. The main roads were marked as 5 lanes wide however at any given moment it may widen to 6 or 7 depending on what someone felt like doing. I saw people make NASCAR like moves on the highway that would get you shot in some major cities in the US. In Russia however it's just part of the commute.
When we got to the city that our children are in I thought the worst might be over...I was wrong. Our driver in this city was old...I mean old. Man is not supposed to be able to live past 120 years and I don't think this guy will be there on our second trip. To make matters even worse he was driving a right hand driver vehicle. If you don't know what that means next time you are in your car imagine driving from the passenger seat. Now imagine doiing all of the things you normally do but from the wrong side of the car. It made for some hair raising moments, but so far so good...
And then it happened our driver pulled out into a round about (think circle in the US or London) right in front of a truck. Now in Russia their trucks are a little bit bigger than ours. To give you an idea here are a couple of pictures:

And just so you get some perspective here are a couple of more:
These trucks are everywhere and they are massive. I'm sure you noticed in the last picture there are 8 missile rocket things being hauled on the back of them. This is what our driver decided would be a good idea to pull out in front of.
I'm not sure why he thought this would be a good idea. My guess is he simply didn't see it. This is what I'm telling myself so I can sleep at night because we have to go back there to pick up my children. However, unlike the pictures above the truck in my story was painted bright orange. I mean bright. If there had been a solar ecplise this thing would have glowed in the dark. Everyone in the mini van, but two people got very scared. The driver, who is approaching death anyway so was probably looking for an escape, and my wife, who was completely oblivious to the oncoming Russian death truck. The rest of us which included out translator, another couple adopting and myself all were glad we had put on clean underewear that morning. Mine were no longer clean as all I could see out of my window was the headlight of the truck, and I was in the very back seat.
At this point I would like to give kudos to the Russian engineers that designed this truck depsite its size it is also quite nimble. It managed to miss us inspite of our driver. At the last possible second it made a lane change cutting off a car causing some horn honking and no accident. The fond memories always stay with me though for trip number two in 3-4 months. Can't wait maybe next time we'll almost get hit by a Russian tank.


jabillups85 said...

Oh, Steve! I miss your humor. Could you explain how one becomes a father after being a grandpa!

Snobound said...

I have both laughed and cried over the past couple of days worth of posts. Even though I do not know you two, my heart is warmed just reading your story and looking at your photos. Your sons are both cute as buttons and I'm sure that once they get "home" they'll both blossom into all that God wants them to be. I look forward to your next entries.