International travel and long-haul flights become less and less fun every year, and I don’t think it is just a matter of the novelty wearing off. I fly back to the US at least a couple of times a year…. seeing my family and friends here is important enough to be worth the stress of the travel.
One of the things that I love most is watching for the Travel Angels…. and believe me, they’re there! So, here’s the most recent story:
Tired after a 10-hour flight to Detroit, I had to wait in line at Immigrations for so long that I missed my connecting flight to San Francisco. The Delta agent did his best to get me onto another flight, but there were just no seats available on later flights; my only option, the only seat available that night, was to fly via Salt Lake City on a plane that was already boarding. He told me to run for it…
Breathless and desperate for food, water, and a toilet, I wanted to cry, but didn’t have time to stop to buy a bottle of water, let alone attend a Pity Party. I made the flight, barely. My seatmates had to get up to let me in, and I’m sure my fluster was apparent to all. Realizing I was hungry on a foodless flight, they looked at each other and told me not to worry; they had been to Zingerman’s and they wanted to share.
Out of their bright yellow Zingerman’s bag came a loaf of chewy French bread, packets of wafer thin meats, turkey with rosemary, meltingly rare slices of roast beef, mortadella, couscous salad, pickles and little pots of mustard — a veritable feast!
I don’t know whether it was the food, the hunger, or the kindness, but I would swear that this was absolutely the food of the gods! Perhaps even nicer…. the hugs as we said goodbye at the end of the flight, a new friendship formed.
The truth is, we are, or can be, each other’s angels…