Russian Concussion

Russian Concussion

Date sent: Thu, 25 Apr 1996
From: (Polar)
Subject: Re: Aeroflot tale
Have I got a story for you! This was about 5 years ago. I was in the (then) USSR with an opera group. We had flown over with FinnAir (fantastic!) and were supposed to go on from Helsinki to (then) Leningrad with them also,but something came up, I don't remembere what, and we had to sit around for 6 hours in the terminal before taking Aeroflot.

Got a sinking feeling when I boarded. The luggage was crammed into overhead racks -- no closed bins -- without even a cargo net.

As we approached Leningrad, the pilot put his flaps down much earlier than we are used to --rrrrrrr, rrrrr, rrrrr --real jock.

I was leaning forward when a suitcase fell out of the rack and hit me on the crown of my head. I put my hand up; it came away full of blood. (Funny --the first thing I thought of was "oh, I mustn't bleed all over my new suit"!).

Had I been leaning forward just a little more, we would not be having this conversation!

Other members of my party rushed to my assistance with tissues,etc. The crew, which had been congregating up in the curtained mid-section, chatting and visiting, rushed up and somebody poured something on my head.

When we landed, they ordered everybody to stay put while I was escorted off the plane, put into an airport runabout, and taken to a first aid shack, where a doctor in a not-too-clean coat shaved the affected area, poured more stuff on it, wound me in gauze under my chin till I looked like King Tut, and told me to leave it on all night. (I didn't. Too damn uncomfortable,and the bleeding had stopped.)

Royal treatment continued with me escorted through Customs ahead of everybody (which I did NOT want to do, as I felt fine; turns out superficial scalp wounds bleed a lot but heal quickly). There was an American MD in our group, who checked on me several times.

Bottom line: It was no big deal, but it could have been fatal!

BTW -- the suitcase (full of booze bottles!) belonged to two fat Germans sitting beside me -- who never even said boo during the whole affair.

Chapter Two: Tblisi to Moscow, tomorrow!


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