Tag Archives: Qazaqstan

in the middle…

It happened in the middle of 1990-x. I just started to work on software company in Almaty as a computer engineer. The company had a customer in the city of Kustanai. I was sent to Kustanay to solve some problem.
It was winter. Winters in the north-Kazakhstan are pretty cold. Business-trip turned-up a little longer than I expected. At the end, day of flight home came. By this time I had run-out of money and worm clothes.
A Little digress from the topic. I used to travel a lot – by plane, by train and even by ship. I used to be petty experienced traveler. What I do not like at all – is crowds and queues. But when you are travelling by plane, you have to be in queues and among the crowd. You have to stay in the row before check-in, then before security, customs, passport control etc. When boarding announces – everybody rush to the gate and stand at their feet half an hour in the row. Usually in such a situation I sit down somewhere near and wait until everybody is boarded, then, among the couple of the same calm as myself, I get on the plane.
But that time something went unusual. I had been waiting on the bench, and thinking of home. And when boarding was announced, I decided not to wait until the very end, but rushed among the others to the gate. There was no bus. All passengers had to walk across the take-off field, at night, at cold, when the wind knocked you down. Again, I was not first, but was not last one.
The plane was Yak-40, a little jet, designed for 50 seats. The entrance was at the back side of the plane. Convertible back door serves as a stairs when got back. I got on the plane, took my seat and then heard a noise from the back door. A flight attendant, strong woman, blocked access to the plane, standing in the doorway. I was heard something like “Stop, get out of plane. We have no free seats more.”
Passengers were trying to climb. There was almost a fight. A man in the uniform – a second pilot – stout man – hurried to help the flight-attendant. They managed to push people out and closed the door. The plane took off. I was sitting in my seat, in the warm cabin, on the way home, thinking of people who had stayed behind, along, in the middle of the airfield, in the cold night.