Tuesday, 5 May 2009

No.51 The Long and the Short of it is..

Terminal 5 turned out to be far better than I had expected. The only let down were the Humus dips in the Salsa café. Tasty but far too much garlic and boarding was cut fine as I hoofed it to the gate via WH Smith and a long queue for some mints.

The flight to Moscow was barely half full. We were assured that the landing would be bumpy and we weren’t disappointed. The whole plane shook as we hurtled to a stop. The ashtrays popped out their sockets, the video screens seemed to move first left then right and the air stewards strapped firmly in their seats in front of me both looked at each other as though to say “only in Moscow”. The captain then came on and explained that they keep asking for the runway to be resurfaced but that it hasn’t happened yet.

I got up to see two passengers behind wearing face masks. Swine flu or Garlic humus I wondered?

Oddly, the only programme on Russian TV in English I could get last night was National Geographic on Aircrash Investigations. It did not make for cheerful viewing but left me grateful that the only incident yesterday was a bouncy landing.

Today I had my first business card exchange with a Russian. I swapped with someone from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. Her title is Deputy Head of Department of Science, Education, International Cooperation and Maintenance and Head of International Cooperation and Maintenance Division. Boy can the Russians do titles? And did she feel short changed I wonder getting just Barry Phillips Director back?

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