What’s your favorite birthday present ever?
I have received many over the years and they are all dear to me. There’s a saying in Serbia:”You don’t examine your present’s teeth!” Well, we all do. Whether we like it or not. You politely say thank you and you add how it wasn’t necessary. The greatest importance of birthday presents is the fact that somebody thought of you and put an effort to celebrate it with you. We all know or at least should know that.
Ms. JP also known as Limačica sent me to the skies and by doing so made me feel like I was the most important person on the planet. Not all mortals receive such presents, whatever the occasion. I am proud to have such a friend! Someone who knows what I like and what I would enjoy the most. Flying! When I say that I enjoy flying I must state beforehand that I hate queuing at airports, getting my belongings and my body scanned and later being cramped in the narrow isles of commercial airliners. Floating in the sky in a hot air balloon or in a helicopter is what I am talking about. What I never had the opportunity to do was to fly in a small aircraft. Limačica came to the rescue and sent me flying in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk single engine four-seat aircraft (widely considered as the most successful aircraft in history).
My birthday present included a voucher for a flying lesson. All I had to do was show up in the village of Teuge in the east of The Netherlands, where I met my pilot and instructor Edward, who explained to me in a very short period of time how the aircraft works and we were off.
It’s actually amazing how easy it is to fly those things. I always had the feeling that it’s something you need to go to school and study hard for ages. And certainly there are important factors that you need to know and get used to and have nothing to do with driving a car. While on the ground you steer the plane with your feet (although you brake too like in your car). There’s a little leaver that you pull to adjust the throttle, just like we used to pull the choke in older cars to warm it up. The steering wheel works just like in cartoons, comedies, and thrillers. Pull for going up, push for going down and guess what happens when you turn left or right. Also worth noting is that I was very lucky to have such nice guy as an instructor. I was astonished how quickly and with ease we took off.
We flew above The Flower Palace Het Loo and the picturesque surroundings of Apledoorn. Multitasking was ever-present. Learning how to fly a plane, enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.
The weather was perfect. No wind and clear blue skies made this autumn day extra special.
Needless to say that I made it in one piece that my pilot/instructor Edward is a talented photographer too.