Great. Now I have possible baby pee on my dress. Seriously, Uzbekistan I don’t understand you. Troy says about this country, “The people are awesome, the country is beautiful, but the system is f#%@ed.” I think he’s right.
We boarded our Uzbekistan Airways flight, eager to get back to Tashkent. After our usual banter over who would get the window seat (Troy always lets me have it), and excited that D and E seats were in pairs on one side of the plane, we approached Row 10. There was a woman and baby in our seats, that is, she was in my window seat, and the baby was on the isle. We showed her our tickets, but she was not going anywhere. We couldn’t kick a young mother out of a seat (although in hindsight, I should have), so we found a hostess to help (and hopefully do the kicking out for) us.
Instead of asking the woman to go to her designated seat, the hostess sits us down in two empty seats in Row 5, no longer in our separate paired seating, and I no longer have my precious window seat.
Not more than two minutes later, two massive guys board (Russian wrestler types), and want to sit in our seats, which are their seats. We search around for the hostess that had planted us there, and she proceeds to seat the two men in the empty seats behind us. Now as this chain reaction of changes to the seating arrangements snow balls, has anyone thought that just maybe, the one daily flight out of Urgench airport might just be booked to capacity, and this pointless altering of seats will just continue to screw up the entire throng of passengers?
Then the angry screaming starts. There was another mother and small child, at least two and a half, sitting behind us, now squished into the window seat with the two guys next to her. She is clearly unhappy, and it seems that she should have two seats, one for her, and one for her child – which makes sense as the baby is way too big to sit on her lap for the flight. The confronted hostess, the same one who seated us, deals with this new outburst by calling upon her superior, who comes out from behind the curtain, and they have a fiery debate over the situation in the isle – very professional. The superior then enters into an even angrier interchange with the mother, eventually just pointing at her watch and saying something like “deal with it, we’re taking off” – once again, very professional.
Meanwhile the two big blokes start up as well, about how they should be in the seats in front – where we are. Now who is going to look to be the problem in all of this? Clearly, the two foreigners who cannot defend themselves in the local tongue. The surrounding rows of passengers are all speaking animatedly, looking at us, gesturing at us, whilst all the while the mother behind us is screaming angrily, her baby in tears.
Did I mention that now the plane is taking off? The hostesses have pissed off behind the curtain to avoid the commotion, and return when we are in the air, but still climbing. The negotiations start, and the guys behind us ask to see our tickets. We show them, and gesture down the plane, “Yeah we know – we’re meant to be down in Row 10!”
The mother behind us is still yelling, her baby crying, the two guys protesting, and everyone in the near vicinity looking at us as if we have caused this entire issue.
All this because the woman five rows back decided to just sit wherever she wanted to, and happened to choose our seats, and then one hostess decided that instead of doing the right, professional thing, i.e. remove the lady in the wrong seat, and then deal with the problem, has just let her stay there, and then began to screw up the entire plane – with the consent of her superior.
The aeroplane still climbing – seat belt light on – the hostesses decide to send us back to our proper seats. WHERE WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE WHOLE TIME. The mother who stole our seats (I understand that having a baby on a plane would not be easy – you need space, but just taking any seats you want is not right!) is finally relocated to where her ticket says she should be; the two guys have their proper seats; and the screaming mother and toddler have their seats. As we sit down, the people around us are looking at us, clearly thinking that we have either a) tried to sneak to the front of the plane and have now been duly punished, b) have kicked a young mother and baby out of their seats, or c) are at least responsible for the noise they were hearing coming from the front of the plane during lift off.
Troy has his very rare angry face on and is not talking. I sit down, sighing, profanities spilling out under my breath, and in the commotion, Troy has claimed the window. Dammit!
Then I feel the wetness under my leg. The f-words continue, (sorry Mum) and I cross my leg over the other to escape it. I obtain a towel from the hostess who started this entire f-up by moving us instead of the lady, and tell her that the seat is wet. Ooh yeah, she’s feeling bad now, but I’m too angry to find pleasure in the fact.
I try to put the towel under Troy’s wet leg, “It’s already wet anyway, don’t worry.” Oh dear. This will be a long hour flight. At least it’s only an hour. We sit in silence for most of it, until we both have the energy and the calmness to bitch about what just happened.
When we leave the plane, the passenger who started the whole thing offers me a smile as I pass. I give her nothing (very rare for me).
Troy saw her smile too. “Did you just smile at her?!”
One day this comedy of errors will be so amusing. Oh yes. One day.