Destination: Dnipropetrovsk (excerpted from “Love & Vodka”)

R.J. Fox

Mockup2As I headed toward my assigned gate at the Frankfurt International Airport – between my world and the new one that awaited me – I stopped for a bouquet of flowers along the way for my friend Katya. When I arrived at the gate marked “Dnipropetrovsk,” I immediately noticed that everyone in the crowded waiting area appeared sullen; no smiles, no laughter. Not a word of English was spoken. Not a word of German, either, for that matter. The atmosphere felt intimidating and I felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I managed to find a seat between two middle-aged men who either apparently had never heard of deodorant, or simply ran out a long time ago. They both glared at me as though I had just announced that I had slept with their mothers.

I took the ring case out of my pocket and examined it…

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