Russian Pilots

England to Russia

You know when there is a long line of traffic, everyone is waiting patiently, mostly because we all pretend to be civilised. Pretending to be civilised is a pain in the ass because all you really want to do is get to the front, to where you get the lions share of the food or other evolutionary goal.

You wait patiently for a reasonable length of time. Slowly you find yourself transitioning from sane human observing the rules, through annoyance of the delay, to outright incandesence that somone is preventing you getting where you want to be (I guarantee you will reach this stage, its just a different length of time for each person) It is just before reaching this point that people tend to switch off the rational part of the brain that controls civility and then a second later, take direct caveman-like action.

Stereotypes can inform us in these situations and can be useful tools to avoid conflict, injury or even dismemberment. We all know you never knock a drink from an irishmans hand after hes qued for it at the bar. Or, ask a burger king cashire for bigmac at lunchtime.

So sitting on the runway at heathrow I was happily able to add “russian pilot” to my stereotypes list. Now I know that it takes a russian pilot approximately 45 mins to reach this point. Upon reaching incandesence, I can only imagine it looked like one of the planes in the que, ducked out down a side street (like anyone in a car with local knowledge would) and then try to take off along the taxi-way.

We were motionless for so long, I, and many of my fellow economy class cattle, thought the pilot had gone off for a vodka break. When suddenly we do a complete 180° and full power off we go! We are flying! Surprise!

Anyway, here comes Moscow for an hour transfer and then on to Ho Chi Minh and my awaiting bromance with aforementioned “Mike”