Miles of Thoughts is a collection of short stories and humorous, sometimes political, essays. Yes, it will make you smile. The author was trying to express his opinion on many issues without offending anyone. Did it work? You have to judge for yourselves.
A FEW PAGES:
MILES OF THOUGHTS
The cobblestones that curb the streets
Of grayish beauty on the river,
I walked the length and widest width
In summer, spring, and fall or winter,
I breathed the air full of myths
That sparked to life so many giants
Of art and culture, war and peace
St. Petersburg – the world of talents.
The travel by plane did not work out. I had a plane ticket from Moscow to St. Petersburg and came to the airport on time. After waiting for about two hours, I became concerned. Waiting for two hours at the Russian domestic airport is almost standard, you expect that, but waiting beyond of two hours is a little too much. You get hungry and the airport food there is not attractive even for the Russians. You see people of all former Soviet nationalities eating something from packages brought over from the outside. It reminded me times when I was little, and our family traveled in there. What did we eat? Sandwiches with whatever was handy, cold chicken, cold hamburgers, and anything else we could get with us. Back then, it was a treat because things we took with us were not always available at home. Everything was in short supply. That was very common back then, but why now? I guess, some things never changed. So, hunger made me even more concerned. Long waiting used to be normal in the Soviet Union, and now, a few things worked right. Thus, it makes it “kind of,” queasy normal. There was always something there, which has to be taken care of right now so your plane could wait. You are not important, less than the other thing that had to be taken care of. You will know what you have to know when there is time for you to know. Capisce? They had no time to inform you yet. Whom are you going to complain? In America, when things, especially service, go bad, you complain. You blame it on new demographics, administration, politics, religion, incompetence, Wall Street, education, and the global warming. You threaten to sue. In Russia, you expect things to go wrong and, when they didn’t, you are lost. Your normal life was just interrupted and in a major way.
“What do mean, the plane in on time? What do I do now?” You ask in the feverish panic, stuttering.
“Please, proceed to the gate and board the plane.”
You are shocked even more now. Something is not right. They probably want something from you. What is it – a bribe? How much should I offer? Things like that happen there and more often than not, but this was not one of these moments. My plane was late, and I did not hear any announcements. Did it leave already? Do they have another plane?
“Excuse me, please.” I approached a stocky somewhat blondish woman wearing the aviation personnel uniform, and smoking by the sign “Smoke only in the smoking dedicated areas.” “I have a ticket to the Flight 73 to St. Petersburg, and it is terribly late, but there was no announcement. Where can I find some information?” You have to be very polite or very rude if you want to get somewhere there.
“Come back tomorrow, same time. There were only twelve passengers, and we canceled the flight. Tomorrow is Friday, and more people are going to be on the plane. Better yet, come earlier. We do not reserve seats – first come first served.” She threw the cigarette out and started a new not really looking at me.
“Why was no announcement there?”
“Oh, there was one. You did not hear. And, we called people home. We probably called you too, but you were not there. You should’ve listened better. Come back tomorrow, earlier.”
“But I have a ticket.” I thought I had some rights.
“They do too. First come – first served.” She waved over hundreds of people sitting and lying waiting for the promised and paid for transportation. Then, she turned around and left. I think I was dismissed.