This time saying goodbye neither Max nor I were all that teared up. We were probably tired of the ridiculous voyage to the airport and the sleep in the damned airport chair AGAIN. I was tired of his perpetual insistence on the need to stop and shop for handbags. Purses, Max. They're called PURSES. Anyway. Still, sweet guy. He probably thought, "WHAT in the name of all Czars am I doing helping this Jonah of a Yankee?!" Sorry Max.
When I approach the dude in the little cage this time I am very quiet and meek. I almost dont exist. Try to fly under the radar. WRONG. The gunman takes my ticket and my visa and soon discovers the sweet little prank the wanker at the airport in NY pulled on me. After finding a translator (not the cute girl this time) he tells me that the ticket is wrong. I have no ticket to fly to Frankfurt today. I look at the ticket and begin bleeding from my ears again.
Sure enough. A week into an unplanned stay in Moscow I find that my ticket has been taken and I hold a slightly crumpled ticket from NY to Frankfurt to Moscow instead of the other way around.
Fearing Max was long gone, I race down the airport cussing out every single Russian I laid eyes on. I called down curses on the entire Russian nation as I sped to the one place in the airport that had a phone you could make an international call from. (Lot has changed I know. this was a long time ago though.) I tell the guy the number and he dials my Mom. Nobody home. No message. He dials someone else. Nobody home. Finally I get through to my Mom who is down in LA at my Grandpa's funeral, which was happening while I was trapped in the airport. She freaks out and tries to calm me down. She hangs up and starts calling Lufthansa to attempt a miracle. I hang up, look at the kind man who made all the calls for me and run out of his store without paying a damned ruble. (Ah. Feels good to confess that. I felt like such an awful person. Jeez.) He does not even chase me. I think he knew... He made a wise choice.
As I run through the airport with fresh curses for all the people I spot Max shopping for purses again and grab him and in a quarter of a second tell him everything that has happened since saying goodbye to him.
Calmly Max takes a personal moment. Then we leave go back and grab my (worthless) ticket and passport and make the trek back to Moscow. We go to the Lufthansa office and they send me on a treasure hunt through Moscow. When I get back two days later with the things they required they tell me they have still not found my original ticket in their systems and that I will be required to purchase a new one. I call Mom. She begins to glow like that one dude in the first season of Heroes who would start a nuclear explosion with his rage. I feel it through the phone and hand the phone to the poor idiot standing behind the Lufthansa counter unprepared for what he was about to encounter. Oh my.
Long story short. Not very short, I admit. Long story long, I somehow get a new ticket and make my way with coins I found on the street to the airport again. Ages later, I arrive for the third time at this abomination of an airport and sigh deeply. I almost cannot get out of the bus. Except that there are incredibly stout women in stockings that are rolling down their chubby legs pushing me out with absolutely no expression on their faces at all.
I walk through the gates of the airport to face my destiny.
END OF PART TWO