Drinking Black Tea On The Journey To Santa Cruz

Sitting on the plane, about to leave Madrid, I was slightly disappointed with what was, or what little, was in front of me. I had travelled long distances before and during these flights I was afforded the luxury of my own small TV in the seat in front whilst being given full access to a mass library of TV programmes and films. I remember watching Iron Man whilst drinking complimentary beer, this is how travelling should be when on a plane for 12 hours. Isn’t it?

As it turned out I wasn’t to have the TV, or the free beer. I was to have pretty little apart from a Bolivian friend to my right, who crossed himself as we took off, and a view of one of those screens that lower down from the ceiling to my left. I anticipated a movie of some sort. Good, I’ll get to watch something at least to pass the time.

As I sat through the second showing of Thor 2, helpfully dubbed into Spanish but without English subtitles, the food arrived. Actually it was reasonably tasty and was followed by the usual tea and coffee. I opted for tea, and set about my usual routine. “No” came the voice to my right. My new Bolivian friend didn’t speak a word of English, but clearly felt the need to protect me from myself. It transpired that I was mistaken the milk for the sugar. Or so he thought. Being from Scotland milk in tea or coffee is the norm, almost expected, but this was nothing short of a scandal in this man’s eyes. This new guardian angel of mine had prevented a tragedy occurring. Oh how I really didn’t want to thank him, instead however, I was treated to an unexpected game of dirty charades…

How do you play out the word ‘milk’? Well by cupping ones breast and squeezing it of course! “Ahhh, it’s milk, thanks!” Oh how I really didn’t want to thank him. One black tea later and we were finally descending. It was a pretty bumpy landing as it turned out and as we set down everyone actually broke out in applause. “Funny that” I mused, “I didn’t think he was that good at charades.”


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