Readers' Submissions

A Sight For Sore Eyes

  • Written by Anonymous
  • June 15th, 2006
  • 5 min read


This took place many years ago.

So there I was standing on the prow of the Monarch {I think it was called, it happened a long time ago} boat, leaving the majestic rig in Saudi Arabia quiet sea, as I was going ashore to book my flight to LOS.

As I jumped ashore, the man in charge of the boats said "Hi, where are you going?"

I told him and he said "Go into my office and I'll be with you soon. I can help you with your flight."

So I went and sat in his office, five minutes later he came in and sat down.

"When are you going to Bangkok?"

"In the next few days, as soon as I can get a ticket."

"You can do me a favour if you would"

"As long as it's legal, The one hotel I don't want to reside in is the Bangkok Hilton."

He Laughed. "No it's perfectly legal, the problem I have is one of the Thai sailors has broken his leg, he's been to hospital and his leg is in plaster, and I have to send him home, if I send him with one of his mates, it means I will be short of two men for a couple of months instead of one man, for some reason they don't hurry back. All you have to do is make sure he reaches Bangkok. The clincher is you'll be traveling first class as he will need plenty of leg room."

I pondered this offer all of one second and said, "Yes".

A few days later I met the sailor at Dahram Airport. I was given a large envelope with his X-rays inside and we flew to Bahrain where there was a bit of a problem because of his leg. They at one point wanted him to go into Bahrain and get another X-ray of his leg, just to make sure there wasn't a machine gun hiding beneath the plaster.

Anyway, they started to call our flight so we just ambled up and got on. We arrived at Don Muang early next morning. I accompanied his wheelchair that had been given, it was the quickest I've been through immigration.

The sailor's family were there to meet him and I handed him over to their care. As I was driven to the Honey Hotel, I suddenly remembered my duty free Vodka I had slung over the wheelchair arms. I bet they had a party thanks to the kind hearted Farang.

I only had two weeks leave, so I stayed I week in Thailand. A ticket from London back to Saudi had already been arranged, so I looked for the cheapest flight and flew to London on the premier airline Aeroflot.

In those days buses took you to the plane and I knew from that moment that we were in for an interesting flight. We sat there waiting in the bus for a while, staff running around for some reason. The reason soon showed itself, a drunken German. Let's call him Hans. At last we moved to the plane and boarded, found our seats and sat down. Hans was about six seats in front of me on my right, we both had aisle seats. As soon as he sat down he was asking the wrestler, ooops sorry the stewardess for a whiskey.

Our first stop was Karachi where we had to disembark. We were led to a large hanger and provided with a soft drink, then put back on the plane. Next stop was either Damascus or Baghdad, can't remember now and once again we had to get off. When we got back on we found that people joining the flight had been allowed on first, the stewardess was backing up the plane yelling "Niet Niet". Hans was still drinking hard, shouting loud, singing etc.

Next stop was Moscow where I changed to London. Hans appeared to have sobered up a little bit. As we approached Moscow he was running up and down the plane opening the top luggage compartments. I couldn't understand it as he had boarded the plane with no hand luggage. The only thing I remembered him having was a little bag, like you see in Westerns which have gold in them.

On landing it was cold, snow was piled up, the only place cleared was the runways, so you can imagine, leaving Bangkok at probably 33 degrees to landing at Moscow amid the snow. Hans had pushed his way to the front, and at last the mystery was solved somewhere between Los and Moscow. Hans had misplaced his passport. I ask you of all the places in the world to tell a Government official you have lost your passport, one couldn't pick a better one than Russia. This was taking long before Putin, Yeltsin and Gorbachev. This was the Communist era.

I had a few hours to wait. There were a number of people from that flight also waiting. On the last hour of our wait for our connections we all stood and cheered as Hans came trotting through surrounded by Russian soldiers fully armed, dressed in fur hats, great thick overcoats and there was Hans dressed as he had left Bangkok, a singlet, shorts and flip flops. Even inside the building it wasn't that warm. It was a sight for sore eyes

Hans had been such a pest on the plane, annoying people especially those that wanted to sleep that we felt no sympathy for him at all. We guessed that for some reason he'd taken off the bag on his wrist containing his passport in Karachi.

It goes to show that what goes round comes around. When traveling long distances it's best to stay sober.

Stickman's thoughts:

As the Thais say, som num na!