Fresh from one intercontinental trip this year, that one to France (as well you know), I'm off again tomorrow, this time to Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Why, I hear you cry, are you off to central Asia at this time of year? Well, an international school is in need of some earthquake preparation advice and our Principal, who met their Principal at some conference earlier this year, demurred when asked if he could go but then, inspiration sleeting through the ionosphere, suddenly quipped 'but you want to meet our Health & Safety guy...'
And as I am that guy I will be heading for Narita tomorrow for a midday flight to Almaty via Moscow. The bad thing... things, about the flight are that I get a 4 1/2 hour stopover on the way and a 12 hour one on the way back, I arrive in Almaty at 4.40am on Monday morning and the fight back on Thursday kicks off at 5.10am but doesn't get to Narita until about 10.30am Friday. And they booked the flights so late that I didn't have enough time to get a visa for Russia so I can't get out of the airport and have a mooch to Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral, which is a bit of a bugger (but I will try the 'oh go on, please, just a short, temporary transit type visa, I'll be good I promise...' at the airport to see if it works).
But still, it's an all expenses paid gig and I get to go to a place that I would not normally have any expectation of visiting, so that's pretty cool. Will take photos and record thoughts here...