Monday, 24 September 2012

No Tips Included

I returned home via Moscow. Again on this trip, first time there. A large Tupolev flew me from Larnaca. I was the only non-Russian in the old plane. On board people were friendly, air hostesses neared their retirement age and toilets had a strong smell of Paris Metro.

I carried no rubles, as I was transiting only. As an innocent first timer at Moscow airport, I entered a cafe and ordered sparkling water and a cuppa. An hour and half later, I ordered a check. The credit card receipt was delivered to me with a spoken message: "No tips included". As everything on that piece of paper was written in Russian, I asked the young lady where to I can add the tip and was told that it was a no-can-do thing. With no money and no time to find an ATM, I was not able to pay the requested tip in the requested format. I apologised and got no smiles in return.
Once again I wondered how a neighbour so close, can be so distant in behaviour and boarded on my next Tupolev from Moscow to Helsinki. This time the plane was full of foreign languages, toilets were spick and span and hostesses young and pretty.

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