Saturday, June 28, 2014

Easy trip

I swing by San Francisco on my way to Minsk. It gave me a chance to see Johnny and Meredith, Nika and Tim, and then attend a meeting yesterday. I shot through like a skyrocket, basically seeing one couple on Thursday and the other on Friday. The meeting lasted all day on Saturday, and I worried about arriving at the airport on time to catch my flight.

I shouldn't have worried. Getting to the airport took about half as long as I imagined, so I stopped at a Japanese restaurant when I got there and ate a bowl of delicious noodle soup.

I got a break when I got onto the airplane too. Facing a ten-hour flight in a window seat, I became alarmed when I saw how little legroom United gave me in a three-seat row. I hoped that my seatmates would be skinny midgets, but I got a strapping guy with long legs. At least he was friendly. Very friendly. He spoke English with a hint of an accent, reminding me of a friend in Minsk, so I asked him where he was from. He said Israel, so I figured he had a Hebrew accent and I'd been mistaken.

I told him that I'm Steve. He replied that his name was very difficult and hard to pronounce. I urged him on. "I'm Dima," he said.

"Дима," I replied. "Я тоже говорю по-русски. (I also speak Russian.)"

Dima looked incredulous. "Steve?" He asked. I nodded yes. "Are you American?" And off we went. He was a great companion, and we both enjoyed the fact that we had nobody in the middle seat between us.

We got to Frankfurt early and I discovered that I'd shared the plane as well with a Lindy hopper from Minsk, Vanya, who had been in San Francisco on business. We're waiting together right now for our plane to Minsk, and he thinks he might have space in his company's car to give me a ride from the airport. It's been an extraordinarily easy trip. Maybe I'll even get home in time to buy some groceries before the store closes.

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