Airplanes are amazing things. A long narrow room full of people from all parts of the world, strapped in with nothing to do but talk to you.
On my recent trip to the States. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to two wonderful people.
The first, Sarah, was another woman visiting her ailing mother. In fact it would have been interesting to have taken a poll: How many of you on this flight are traveling to be with an elderly parent?
The other, on the way back, was a fascinating man named Philip, who works in technology security. We ended up talking non-stop about internet hackers, encryption, our technological future, tele-transportation, bionic medicine, and space wars until we were interrupted by the pilot on the intercom saying sorry for the delay but we needed to get off the plane, they still couldn’t fix the broken antenna. We blinked in surprise. We never noticed we hadn’t left the tarmac.
We rush so much through our daily lives. And it’s only when we are seated, polite convention nudging you to say hello to the person next to you and, if you have an ounce of interest and not a particularly interesting book in your bag, to chat. And yes there are some blowhards that have you reaching for the duty free magazine with huge interest. But most times meeting random people and learning what their life is about is like a shot of good cheer in the arm.
It also can make that 7 hour flight fly by.
PS: An extra special hug to the taxi man (Broadway Mini Cabs 020-8348-4848)who waited for me until 1 am even though my plane was three hours late.
photo by Zoagli (Flickr)