July 27, 1998
When we landed at Kazan that same day, I noticed men on the sides of the runway. I landed 3rd. While slowing down, a man ran in front of us with a camera and I had to dodge him on the runway.
As we pulled up, we noticed a ton of people. When we shut the engine down, we heard a brass band playing Chattanooga Choo Choo and 1940’s tunes. We were given flowers and two girls dressed in traditional Kazan costume brought champagne and food to try. There were so many people there! The mayor gave a speech and we were presented a model of a Russian plane. After the ceremony, a large bus pulled up to take us to our hotel. “Hey Waylon, we have our own tour bus now,” we thought! A second bus picked up Doug Dawson, Terrie Lawrence, May Adair Kizer and the camera crew (Uri and Demetri). They were taken to the other airport to catch a plane back to Moscow. Tomorrow, I will list everyone on this flight. It is amazing. We are really not worried about anything. At dinner tonight Khalide told Nikki (here it goes again) that the pilot of the military support airplane would like Nikki to fly with him tomorrow, as he thought she might like the change. We’ve been gone 1 whole day. I must say, her choices are getting better-looking though. He really is nice and knows that airplane. I’ll send a picture later of the whole crew.
So now we’re in our rooms – the ones with oscillating air conditioning. Our bathroom is the shower. Just stand by the toilet and spray yourself off…but don’t get the seersucker toilet paper wet. Tomorrow we have a choice: low altitude or higher altitude. Low is Russian controllers and high is English speakers. We’ll see…