An international incident between Germany and Russia was averted today onboard a flight from Moscow to Frankfurt. A German air hostess, who didn’t speak Russian, asked an elderly Russian man if he preferred the vegetarian or meat option, first in German and then English.
The Russian man didn’t speak either. In complete desperation she turned to me and asked, in English, if I spoke Russian.. I don’t , but having spent the last 10 days there I have acquired the confidence of a person who does.
Naturally, I said I didn’t.
The situation was getting tense.
In a moment of pure inspiration I tapped the Russian man on the shoulder and gestured toward my sketchbook, I rapidly sketched. First a carrot, then peas followed by a pig (the meat option was pork).
There was a beat of silence… then suddenly laughter. First from the Russian man who had his thick thumb firmly on the pig and then relieved laughter from the air hostess. The incident had ended, passengers resumed their chatter and the international language of illustration had triumphed.
This really did happen but I may have exaggerated a little )))