In first two parts of this series, we covered my decision to move from San Diego to Chita, Siberia to be a professor at Chita State Technical University. We pick up story aboard flight from Anchorage to Khabarovsk, Russia.
Technically, it’s day two and half. I think. Time began to blur as we flew over international date line. Wait, do we add a day or lose a day? I was so confused that I didn’t know whether to whine about losing or gaining a day in my life. Whatever day it was, we were flying along happily on Aeroflot.
I must say that communism had some things going for it. The average airline ticket in U.S. should come with a shoehorn to help wedge you into seat. God forbid if person in front of you should put their seat back. Damn people in first class! Communism solved this problem nicely.
I wouldn’t say our plane was old, but younger planes around our gate were crowding in to hear our plane tell stories about first flight of Wright brothers. Despite some interesting details [My God, does that look like a crack in wing? That better not be duct tape!], “maturity” of our flying bull had some distinct advantages.
A central concept of communism is that there is only one class of people, to wit, workers. Theoretically, everyone gets same treatment. The benefits of this theory are debatable, but I can tell you it stomps capitalism into ground when it comes to flying.
The seating compartment on our plane was uniformly first class. There was plenty of space for one’s rump and legs. Each two-seat section was equivalent of three seats on a U.S. airline. It was at least two feet to seat in front of me. Those that fly a lot will understand as I quietly shed a tear in memory of that flight. Dozing comfortably, I didn’t give a damn if wings fell off. At least we were going in style!