Tales from Economy Class

I landed in Australia, Monday morning. Total travel time was almost 23 hours.

By 10am, I arrived on the doorstep of good friends Frances and Tristan, rather gritty and dying for a hot shower and a change of clothes.

“You look great from getting off that 14 hour long haul flight from LA!”, said Frances. Ha ha! I have Ambien to thank for a comatose 10 hours of artificial sleep.

Travelling by air always has it’s adventures. From horrid delays and cancellations to smelly and obese passengers oozing into your paid personal space, I can’t stand to fly sometimes.

Then you get the chatty person in the seat next to you that wants to tell you their life story. Which is exactly what the flight from DCA-> LAX entailed.

It doesn’t matter how bad your life seems, there is always someone else having a much more difficult time.

My heart ached for this lady seated next to me for almost 6 hours.

In this time she told me that her husband of 30 something years left her and was living with another man in Florida, she had chronic health problems that see her hospitalised and having surgery several times a year as well as her ex husband sponged off her for years and to find out that he hoarded and squirrelled away money in separate accounts for years without her knowing.

Wow.

When we disembarked from the plane, she hugged me at the gate and thanked me for listening and offering her kind words.

Showing compassion to people that are going through hell may take up to 6 hours of listening but that hug and look of gratitude was well worth it.