Every long journey begins with one small Czech

Airplane seat neighbors can challenge even the hardiest of travelers. After a week of sleep deprivation, the challenge increases exponentially and our ex-pat experience begins now. We are in single seats of the small plane, Mary sits directly behind Lisa.

Yay, we are on the plane, Tucson to Houston. Boo, we are stuck on tarmac for unidentified computer fix and reboot. Yay, Mary passes out with exhaustion. Boo, she wakes up before we’ve taken off, and realizes, to her horror, that she is surrounded by the Czech family reunion. The short patriarch sits behind her, a fellow of 70 some years, who talks non-stop in Czech to his grandson across the aisle. Occasionally, the grandson responds.

Barcelona mosaic

Mary realizes that this man is the same person who tried to cut in front of Lisa at the check-in counter. Lisa swiftly and politely directed him to another gate agent, and he mumbled an admonishment to her and to our multiple bags.

The wife comes to visit the patriarch, Mary notes that she sits front of Lisa. Mary strategically offers her seat to wife, but wife declines. She lives with Mr. Czech talk radio, after all.

We take off and the change in air pressure knocks Mary into slumber land again, the sing-song Czech provides the soundtrack for crazy dreams. Is he really singing? Is he talking? Mary drifts in and out of consciousness.

We survive the flight, but soon see the short Czech couple headed to the same Houston airport gate for our Frankfurt flight. We harness our mind power and guide them into seats far from us for the nine-hour flight. Success!

We discuss window and aisle seat assignments with another passenger, and Lisa proves that yes, Lisa has the preferred aisle seat. Mary is in the middle. Window seat woman is a San Diego native headed back to Basil, Switzerland, where she is a project manager of some sort for a Pharma start up, even though she is really more interested in biology, nutrition, holistic health. A most pleasant seat mate who reads Edible San Diego as we read Edible Tucson. We inquire casually about visas and she replies, “Oh, I have an E.U. passport because my parents are Czech.”

© 2013 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved

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2 responses to “Every long journey begins with one small Czech

  1. What a great short, short and the poetic prose…fabulous creative non-fiction. Should be published on Brevity e-zine! Thank you, Mariel

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