Saturday, January 02, 2016

Up in the air

Living in small town, America means that traveling to the old country has at least three flight segments--a short domestic one to a major hub, a long haul from this hub to a global hub, and travel from that global hub to India.  This time was no different.

In the short flight to the hub, in the adjacent seat that was by the window was a young woman, who was chewing gum as her fingers typed on her iPhone at speeds that could have bested Rose Pamphyle.  She introduced herself as a freshman at the local university who was going home for the winter break after an eventful first term.  It turned out that even her trip home was eventful.

When the cabin attendant came with the beverage cart, the freshman asked her, "is there a bag here?  If I end up puking?"

The attendant showed her the bag in the pouch.  I was now on full alert.

I was more than halfway through my tasty sandwich, when she grabbed the bag and heaved into it.

The attendant returned with ice cubes that were wrapped with a wet paper towel.  "Use this to cool your head and neck" she suggested. The seatmate complied.  I offered her the puke bag from the pouch in front of my seat as well.

The attendant came again, this time with gloved hands with which she carefully lifted up the bag-with-puke and dropped it into the garbage bag.

"I'm so sorry," said my seatmate. "I assure you that I am not sick or anything.  The last few days have been rough, that's all.  Including helping out a friend who was completely drugged out."

TMI for me.  "No problems at all.  These things happen. You prepared well for this--sensing that you were not feeling well and getting the bag organized" I comforted her.

"Yeah, imagine otherwise. I would have sprayed all over, including you."  She laughed.  I laughed.  If it were not for such humor even at awkward situations, the US will be a dull and boring country!

"The good thing is that you are going home and your mother will take care of you for a few days."

"Yes, my parents will be at the airport."

She opened the phone to play a video game.

"You might not want to do that now--it could worsen the motion sickness" I advised her.  She complied.

Thus began the long travel to the old country as I finished the rest of the sandwich.

3 comments:

Ramesh said...

Get on to the business class flight quickly Khe .......

By the way this three hop flight of yours is simply because you live in the back of beyond. If only you lived in a city of some consequence globally it will simply be a direct flght :):):)

Anne in Salem said...

Not an auspicious beginning to your trip.

On a flight about 10 years ago, we were sitting in two rows, one parent and two kids per row. One child looked at her dad and said, I think I'm going to throw up. Dad promptly sent child to me. Not ten minutes later, second child looks at his dad and says, I think I'm going to throw up. I figured that was justice. Of course being an 8 year old boy, he pulled his head out of the bag and announced "That was so cool - barf came out my nose." We were very thankful for the bags and now always check for the bags upon boarding. Better safe than sorry.

Sriram Khé said...

Ramesh, any city in which I live is of global consequence thanks to my very presence ;)

Boys will be boys, eh, Anne ...
Not an auspicious beginning, yes, but then all's well that ends well ...

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