From the Business Travel Log
Part V – Riding the Double Decker
My plane makes a long downwind track past the Whitestone bridge before making a longer arc to face the runway. I think about a long journey I took in 1995 from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow.
The plane from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, to Moscow was not a puddle jumper. It was a huge double decker Russian airliner. It was not the most modern of airliners but it was modern enough. My translator, Sergey, and I rode in first class.
“Jerry, how are you feeling”, asked Sergey.
“This toothache is killing me”, I replied.
“When we get to Moscow we can get some good medicine for you”, said Sergey.
“Zdravstvujtye, chto-nibud’ vypit “, said the handsome lady elegantly dressed in the blue, and white uniform with the long purple velvety scarf draped around her neck.
“I know what she said Sergey. What’s on that cart she’s pushing? I see vodka. Wait, what’s in that tall brown bottle?”
Sergey looks at the cart. “That’s Cognac.”
“French?”, I respond.
“Okay, Jerry, it’s Brandy.
The young lady pops the top of the Brandy after Sergey asks for it. My toothache is pounding.
“Nyet”, I tell her, “just give me the bottle”, I say.
She understood. Her eyes met my grimace. She winced.
Her language quickly switched to English, “Sir, I hope you feel better soon.”
“Spasiba Bolshoi”, I responded.
“Pozhaluysta”, she replied, smiling.
Hearing the wheels of my aircraft lock down awakens me from my daydream of memories.
“We are on our final approach to LaGuardia, please put your seats in the upright position with seatbelts buckled and your tray tables stowed” boomed the flight attendant over the intercom.
I comply. I look out my aircraft window at beauty, I marvel at nature, my heart is thankful, my mind is at peace, my hands are steady, my feet are grounded , my emotions contemplate joy. We touch down. Spasiba Bolshoi, we arrive.