Russia (USSR) -The Stewardess, by Taff Lark (1980)

In March 1980 I was Airport Manager Moscow. As I was on my own with the family away for the week, after I had despatched the 'Siberian express' to Tokyo, I accepted an invitation to a leaving party for staff at the Canadian embassy.

Going into the kitchen of their apartment to get myself a beer at a late hour, I was greeted by a US Marine - one of the embassy staff - who was well into his cups. "Hi Taff, having a good time?" was the greeting. After some small talk he told me he thought that the BA stewardesses were the tops, as he had a great time with one the night before, but was miserable that she left for Tokyo that afternoon. I just said "lucky old you" and rejoined the party.........

On the way back to my apartment, I suddenly realised that, unusually, the cabin crew departing for Tokyo that day had been all male, apart from the Japanese girls.

I thought some more about this and, knowing how conscientiously embassies took matters of security in Moscow, I approached my contact in the British Embassy and asked his advice. He took it all seriously and asked me to contact a certain person at the American embassy.

This I did, and related the story to him, and told the marine involved that I had done so. Some time passed......

At a supper party some while later I was approached by my American contact, who asked me if I recognised this.... "This" was a London Heathrow Cabin Crew ID card. I advised him that I couldn't recognise her - but then there were dozens of cabin crew coming through Moscow.

"Oh, don't worry," he said, "she is Russian - we picked her up at the Friday night Marine Bar disco a week or two back. The marine involved wants to buy you a beer and, by the way, my thanks for taking the trouble to tell us."

What happened to her, or how the LHR ID card was obtained, I have absolutely no idea.

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