Good-bye beautiful billowing sunsetting room. Unbelievably, this journey is not yet over, in fact, the second leg has only just begun. The one memory I will take away is thus: Minsk is filled with space. There are no bodies – living I mean, the human-rights situation is not that diabolical. It is 2AM. I have not slept yet, I will miss my plane if I do. I gather together all of my everything and head to reception for check-out.
The taxi arrives in literally a minute and we fly through the super highways. They really are super highways, wide expanses of new, clean, flat tarmac very unlike the crumbling and potholed motorways in Britain. Fuel stations stand out against the non-climactic urban landscape like futuristic buildings from The Jetsons.
As the sun rises hazy pink from the East, the sky in the west remains a watery-inky blue, the gibbous moon and Sirius gaze on, illuminating the hoards of silver birches lining the streets along the way to the airport. Literal layers of thick mist, only seen in movies, cover the lower lying land beneath the trees and in the parallel freshly green fields on either side of the highway. It is simply stunning.
Reality beckons. I reach the airport. Where are all the people of Minsk? They are all at the flicking airport, I have twenty-five minutes to check-in and I am slightly worried at the length of the queue. Two gates are designated four flights (Vienna, Frankfurt, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Antalya [Turkey]), the amount of humans is immense.
Lucky me, inadvertently, I am standing behind Grandad-Smelly-Breath. I was wondering why nobody was behind me. It was a conspiracy by all the other queuers, I am drawn the short straw and I was not even in the game.
Considering he is facing away towards the gates, how is it that the odour that is chronic halitosis is invading my space, devouring my nostrils? It is revolting. I am trying very hard not to breathe inwardly from his direction in case I incapacitate myself lifeless.
He keeps kissing the beautiful tiny human in the pram goodbye, I feel sorry for the poor little mite, but he continues to smile in his grandbaby love that way babies do at the gurgling stage of their lives.
I concentrate on the cling-filming of suitcases instead, first wrapped four times around the bottom, then the top, then the middle. It is resemblant of a giant candy floss machine, but with luggage. I am trying to work out the security behind this idea, or perhaps the clinging of film is more for protection?
Ugh. Fail. Stomach pains. Must be the shrimp from earlier. Please body, hold tight, you are going to have to wait until we reach Frankfurt. Mental note: stay away from Grandad.