From Domodedovo to Reykjavík… with a shopkeeper in Baku for Elska Magazine

On this day last year I was working as a flight attendant and spent New Year´s Eve working the Economy Class section on a flight from Moscow Domodedovo to London Heathrow.


The crew at my airline hate doing Moscow flights. They complain that the passengers are rude, demanding and just plain unpleasant. Perhaps it’s because I speak Russian and understand the Russian character a bit better (I studied Russian at uni), but I found the passengers absolutely charming and a pleasure to serve. So much did I enjoy the flight that I did an impromptu PA to the entire plane in Russian upon landing that ended with a “поздравляю с новым годом” [happy new year]. To my total embarrassment, the plane erupted in applause.

After the passengers deboarded, not knowing if the applause was heard in First Class as well, I mentioned the applause to my manager who’d been working up front. He replied that he did hear it and was going to make a commendation about me, but because I had the shamelessness to bring it up, he would not do so. This sort of belittlement happened every day and it is why, even though the passengers were always lovely, I absolutely despised the job.

The new year is often a time for looking back. Certainly I had no idea then that I’d be going Elska, no clue that one year from Moscow I’d be about to release the third issue of Elska, this one set in Reykjavík.  As much as I hated working for that company, I can’t imagine that I’d have ended up doing Elska without the opportunities that job gave me to travel and photograph on our many layovers. Last January I had trips to Seoul, Los Angeles, Rio, Kuwait City, and Baku (where this image is from). I’d love to return to all for an Elska issue. Perhaps 2016 will see it.

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