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March 17, 2008

Roundtrip to Seattle

On Friday I caught the 8 a.m. flight to Seattle for a new biz pitch and was then back on the 6:10 p.m. flight to LAX. So a 2.5 hour flight there and another back. *sigh*

Here is what I saw of Seattle:


Flying back I was seated next to an older Latin woman who spoke very little English. As soon as she sat down she told me with tears swelling in her sad eyes that she was headed to Guadalajara because her mom was sick and she just found out. She had a four hour layover in LAX and was taking the 1:15 a.m. flight from there. I don't speak Spanish very well, but I can understand a good deal and it seemed to be the same for her with English, so we somehow managed to talk the entire flight with hand gestures and in our own languages with each other's mixed in. We shared photos of loved ones and some more tears together. A mother of four, she (Ophelia) also confided that she had nine brothers and sisters. It turned out that she was fighting with one hermana (sister) and hadn't talked to her in 21 years and she was upset that she was going to be there too, but she said she wasn't going to make a big deal in front of her sick mother. I asked why they hadn't talked in so long. Apparently the sister married her now ex-husband, my gaping reaction after I translated what she said must have been comical, telenovellas got nothing on this conversation. Anyway, it was a somber flight. I walked her to her next gate after landing and we hugged goodbye.

It's weird that in one aisle on a flight from Seattle to LAX, there I was traveling for business, Ophelia for a family emergency and the other woman in our row was visiting friends. During the breaks in our conversation I tried speculating why the other families and travelers were headed to Los Angeles, a wedding, Disney Land, business? Interesting to think about the different reasons why we were all on that plane.

3 comments

  1. Interesting spin on a day trip - written so well.

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  2. I always meet the most interesting people on flights too.

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  3. I often wonder who is all on my flights and why they are there. It seems sometimes that there can't possibly that many people who want to go from point A to point B in the middle of the week, for instance, and yet there's thousands of flights everywhere at any hour of the day....it amazes me to no end.

    Sounds like you made quite a connection with that woman...how wonderful. Usually I try to stay out of the way of my fellow passengers or they stay out of mine, but I love it when I actually establish a raport. But then again, you're so bubbly and friendly, I'm not entirely surprised. :)

    Be happy -- you've seen more of Seattle than I have. Not that that's saying much, of course. :)

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