Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Faux Pas

I recently learned that a gentleman I worked with was a renowned poet and dissident in his own country of Romania, when Romania was under the thumb of Ceaucescu. He emigrated to the U.S. when his family's lives were threatened for their political involvement, and he retains something like a hero status in Romania and Moldova.

Today, he told me about a time he took a flight on Moldovan Air to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The plane was a propeller, and there were 13 lucky passengers. Shortly after take-off, a mad fire exploded from the back of the plane. "We were lucky," he said, "that it was February, and that it was raining. The ground, was like....pie." So the plane was able to fall back to the earth and sink in softly, and he was able to escape with his life.

Why did he tell me this story?

Well, because I just booked him on a flight to Chisinau on a propeller plane operated by Moldova Air. He sweetly told me this story and requested apologetically that we, perhaps, find an alternate route.

So when booking flights for dissident poets to underdeveloped lands, try to avoid reserving a flight that once sent them hurtling to the earth in flames. It's only polite.


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