Already in the Boeing Jumbo airplane loading passengers at Schiphol Airport in Holland, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was feeling like in Mexico. Most of the travellers were male Mexicans happy to go home. In very good mood, joyful, content. Embracing and touching each other. Mexican people are very warm and physical and have no reservations in social contact. They are natural, uncomplicated and open and this is what Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski enjoys. He had a reserved seat next to the window, for a view and to have at least one calm side, when he noticed that next to him was a mother with a child while the father had a seat on the other side of the aisle. Having been a boy scout, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski offered his window seat to the family so they all could sit together. This they refused politely. But after 15 minutes they changed their mind and asked if the offer was still valid. With some hesitation now Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski moved to a less favourable aisle seat where the father had been sitting, thinking that a family being able to be together is more important. But soon he found out that the next person to the former father-seat suffered of a bad breath and probably this was the reason the family had changed their mind. Not simply a bad breath but a bad breath equivalent to a constant stream of fart-air. As long as the young man looked straight ahead, the deadly air stream hardly reached the fellow passengers, but when he turned his head to the right, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski had to hold his breath, put his finger under his nose and focus on trying to breath under an angle of 90 degrees. Later, after he arranged some snacks and drinks from the friendly Dutch stewardesses to offer them generously to the young man with the fart-breath, taking in this diplomatic way the sharp edges off his deadly oral gases, he learned it was actually a very friendly person. He had finished his business administration studies and had spent some weeks swinging in gay Paris and Amsterdam. Soon he came to tell he had no more parents. He had never known his father and his mother had died of cancer 6 years ago. Now, at 22 years old, he felt alone not being in touch with any of his family. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski suggested he should start looking for his father and inspired the young man to start this project soon.
The atmosphere in the plane was absolutely great and the stewardesses had a hard time supplying all those Mexican amigos with the beer, cognac and wine they needed to drink the miles away. Until Misses van der Kamp, “I am your head purser”, briefed everybody by PA that drinking was not allowed when coming from bottles carried on board by the passengers themselves. Obviously, Misses van der Kamp saw that things could get out of hand in her Jumbo with this wild bunch of Mexicanos and wisely applied a prevention strategy.
About to over fly American airspace, next, the pilot tested his authority. There are regulations coming from the American Government that airplanes over flying the USA are not allowed to have more than 3 people standing in the aisles and near the doors. These hilarious instructions we received from the pilot: we were not to get out of our seats when there were more than 3 persons already standing, even in front of the often urgently needed bathrooms while being above the United States.
It was pleasing to see that nobody in the plane, including the pilot and the stewardesses, gave a fuck for this idiotic regulation. It seemed that everybody expressed the opinion: get the hell out of Iraq instead, so you don’t have to make yourself ridiculous with these kinds of paranoia prescriptions. So, in spite of Homeland Security Regulations, there were small parties of happy Mexicans stretching their legs everywhere and the crew just went their own way. There is a limit to absurdity, everybody seemed to conclude. Officially and legally the pilot has to instruct his passengers but to enforce the rule seemed wisely not to be included in the activities of the friendly stewardesses.
There was a rather long stopover in Mexico City where attacks of sleep were suffered to board eventually a Brazilian made small jet plane, the 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145, for the last 2-hour stretch to La Paz.
When arrived in La Paz and waiting for the luggage it became clear that the arrival hall was filled with over a thousand people all shouting, singing and screaming.
Now, let’s remember, it was arranged that a person would pick up Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, not a thousand, and he started to wonder if there had not been a misunderstanding. Or some practical joke being played. Or this success and popularity he has been anticipating for so long finally happening.
He got his luggage, was not checked by customs, the doors to the arrival hall opened and he walked into a wall of super enthusiastic people, hailing him, greeting him, cheering him. Tears came to his eyes. What a welcome back to Mexico ! He had suffered this serious hesitation of coming. Of believing it was maybe better to stay in Europe to await the return of the Princess from India. This complex dilemma had shaked and shocked his heart like a major earthquake. But now, in the arrival hall of the small airport of La Paz, a thousand people giving him their love and welcome for coming to Mexico !
Until he noticed there were banners and it was not his name on it.
Until he noticed they were screaming slogans not including his name.
Later it was explained to him, by this ONE PERSON who came to meet him, that on his plane had been the politician Lopez Obrador, who recently had lost the Mexican Presidential elections but made himself a shadow President. The thousand screaming people were excited supporters of Senor Obrador testing their skills on the passengers who came out before him.