Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


Un Viaje para Practicar Mi Español

January 15-18, 1993

We flew quite a few trips to Mexico, mostly for the company, but occasionally for the pilot service client. So it was useful to know enough Spanish to get by when in country and there were no English-speakers around. Which came in really handy on this trip in the Lear to Ciudad Obregon, where basically there were no English-speakers, period.

The pilot-service client was there to go quail-hunting. We were to be there for four days. The client's host had made the arrangements for the flight crew. The motel we were booked into was really ratty. There was no hot water and the carpet smelled like dog dirt. And it was right on the main road, where worker-filled buses without mufflers roared past eighteen hours a day. There was a nicer place across the street where the rooms were clean, the water was hot, and there was a wall and a courtyard shielding the road noise. After two nights in the ratty place, we learned a couple of rooms had opened up in the nicer place, so we moved across the street for the remaining night.

However, there was one problem, which I didn't discover until departure day. I couldn't find my black dress uniform shoes. Oops. You can't look professional wearing sneakers. I guessed that I'd probably left them in the ratty place when we moved. So I had to go back over there and communicate, in Spanish, with the housekeeping staff. Did they find my zapatos negros, and did they still have them? Si y si, señor. Whew. Those were really nice (and expensive) shoes, too. So muchas gracias to the honest housekeeping staff. They saved my professional image.



References for Non-Pilots: