Let’s be clear, long flights and I are simply not friends. I’m the person that will take a 20 minutes detour to avoid 5 minutes of traffic and the who is so over it after 30 mins on a plane. I’ve got the attention span about as long as an ants antenna and cant sit still for a long period of time. Some pretty glaring issues for a wanderlust. I did a lot of flight searching to chart out the best and shorted route. Six hours to London and a six hour layover before my eleven hour haul to Bangkok was the best I could do….and it seemed like a solid plan.
After my London layover, marred by a lackluster cupcake lol, I was dreading getting on the plane for what would be come my longest flight to date but teeming with excitement about my pending adventure. And, I had for once charged all my devices properly…
Boarding was easy and painless and I had a great seat (again, careful planning). I was sitting next a a young Thai woman who seemed friendly enough and I let her know in full transparency that I was not going to be a happy camper. She was quite the chatty Cathy and the convo got really interesting eventually…more on that later.
For some reason, even though we were sitting in the front row in the only twin seats in the cabin, the flight crew skipped us during every single drink service. Um, hello! We are dying of thirst here. At one point before dinner, I was in dire need of a beer and pushed the FA button….20mins later….nothing. Quite odd on British Airways so I figured something must have been up. Nonetheless, I got the eye of the flight attendant from economy and pitiflly asked for a beer which he quickly delivered, quenching my ridiculous thrist.
Meal time! This time I hesistated when asked if I wanted Chicken or Vegetarian, thinking back to the shenanigans of the previous flight. Going against my better judgement, I decided to chance it again with chicken, being a glutton for protein and all. Score! It was chicken pad thai and it was quite tasty. There was some purple cole slaw which I found to be suspcious, but my Thai neighbor encouraged me to try it and it turned out to be quite tasty.
Speaking of my Thai neighbor, she was pretty sweet and helpful during the flight, including when I spilled the contents of my tray on the floor (all unopened thankfully). But, I started to get the “no” feeling a bit during our conversations. She shared with me that she was travelling from Scotland where she had been on a five month holiday and was going home to see her daughter who was turning three next week. I thought it was a little odd that she on a five month holiday with such a young kid at home but didnt think much of it. When I asked how long she was staying, she said only through Christmas and then she had to go back. She then went into details about her boyfriend who she met through ‘an agency’ and she planned to marry him soon. Oh, ok. The conversation then took an interesting turn. I learned all about her child’s father, who was English, who she also met through ‘an agency’. Trying to change the topic a bit, I joked about being thirsty and we had a good laugh about how maybe the flight attendant didnt like us. I stood up for a stretched and joked about how my being short is a perk on long flights since I can stretch at my seat without having to walk into aisle. She was short too and appreciated the sentiment. (Enter no feeling again). She then went on the share that here boyfriend calls her “black, fat, and short”. Thinking I had misheard, I asked her to clarify. She laughed and repeated just what I had thought I had heard. “That isnt very kind of him. How do you feel when he speaks to you that way?”, I asked. Alas, she laughed and said it was ok and added that his mom says he can call her that because he himself is short and fat. Oh! Of course….that settles it. It all makes sense now. Yikes. Not knowing what else to do but not wanting to just roll with it, I told her she was a lovely person, who deserved respect and to be honored and that she should feel empowered to demand it. She smiled, said thank you and I could see it marinating. Hopefully there was a positive takeaway. I wanted to give her a hug but, well, I think that would have been odd.