Back in DC

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It always seems so much longer flying back from Australia to the US than it does US to Australia.  Of course this probably has everything to do with  the anticipation of fun times flying west compared to everyday chores flying back eastward.
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I arrived home about 11pm Saturday night and had my first day back at work today –  a day that seemed much longer than the last day I worked.  On Saturday I was sweating in summer clothes in Sydney lamenting the fact that I’d be back in winter clothes on Monday!   My lovely painted toenails would be hidden beneath tights and boots;  the summer dress I bought on sale would be put in the wardrobe for another few weeks.
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A few hours out of Sydney  an announcement was made asking if there was a doctor or “any” medical professional on board- preferably one who could speak Spanish.    A woman a couple of rows infront of me pushed her call button & said she was a Spanish speaking doctor but the attendant said they’d found one at the back of the plane.   I wondered what the chances were of finding two Spanish speaking doctors on the same 747 out of Sydney.
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A poor woman had woken and didn’t know where she was;  she did not understand why she was on a plane and didn’t know why she was going to Los Angeles.  She was quite hysterical and had no-one with her.  What an awful feeling that must be.    When a man in the row behind me got up to go to the toilet the woman got in his seat and wouldn’t move.  She was hugging her hand luggage, crying and mumbling.  A flight attendant calmed a young girl in the next seat; “she is harmless;  she won’t hurt you; she is just confused”.   Eventually the doctor talked her into going back to her own seat – I’m not sure if they sedated her but she didn’t move about again.
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When we landed in LA we were not allowed to stand until ambulance people came in and took her from the plane. I wondered if she had someone meeting her there;  she didn’t seem to know….
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Then on the next leg –  LA to DC – I sat next to a man who coughed, wheezed and sneezed for the entire 5 hours!!   Occasionally he would cough into the crook of his elbow but mostly he generously shared his germs, snot and spittle!    I tried to keep my head turned away from him which resulted in a  horrible stiff neck yesterday!   I am going to be really pissed off if I catch a cold or the flu on top of this week’s jetlag!!
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43 responses

  1. At least we’re looking forward to spring: the folks in Australia are entering fall, and it sounds like they’re getting flooded again. But good lord, your adventure on the plane. I wonder if the woman had a form of dementia, or was taking a medication that had side effects similar to dementia. It always bothers me when things like that happen while I’m traveling, because the likelihood of my ever finding out what happened to the sick or injured person is nil, and I worry. Which is silly, I know.

    But it’s so good to see you back! I hope you don’t get sick. Wine is supposed to be good for killing the germs, so I trust you’ll have a glass tonight!

    • I said to someone at work today that even the crappiest winter’s day in Sydney is nicer than a mediocre DC winter day. I don’t think it’s silly to worry about what’s happened to people we don’t know – I do that too. There was an elderly man on my DC to LAX plane who had some palsy and dementia and continually “lost” his ticket; his passport; his money because he kept getting it out of one bag and putting it in another and then having to push the call button to have a flight attendant find it for him. The guy looked about 100 and I wondered where his family or carer were. The attendant told me (after I’d found his ticket under the seat) that they were radio-ing ahead to have him assisted from the plane – poor old guy.

  2. So glad you’re back. We missed you so much!! GOM even did a post asking if anyone had heard from you and wondering if you were hurt at the bottom of the stairs. I was comforted with the facts that I’d just read the post about your son’s condition (not that he has the condition, but I knew why you’d been absent) and the knowledge that your co-worker had a key and instructions to come look for you if you didn’t show up for work.

    How awful for the confused woman. She may have had a stroke or another condition that caused her to be so confused.

    The doofas coughing and sneezing was so inconsiderate. Hope you don’t get sick.

    • LOL @ GOM re my tendency to trip over. The situation with the woman made me feel quite sad – I know what it feels like to wake from a bad dream and not know where I am but that’s short term and there are usually things around us which calm us because they are recognizable and comforting. I suppose that is why this poor lady was really tightly hugging her hand luggage – it was the only thing she recognized.

  3. I’m glad you got back home safely. 😀 I feel so bad for the confused woman. 😦 That happened to my great aunt once–thank goodness it was just a one time thing. What would cause that?
    I hope you don’t get sick! How awful.

    • I’ve doubled up on all my vitamins so hopefully I’m going to stay fighting fit 🙂 I *think* the average incubation period of a cold is about 3 days so I might be in the clear now……

  4. OOOf that’s not something one wants to experience on a plane. I feel that we are by now so high strung when entering a plane that about everything can make one even more nervous.
    I remember a flight when a woman asked for new cutlery for her daughter, probably because she had lost it on the floor.
    The flight attendant came with a new set, and from what I can tell the plastic wrapper had a hole. Which resulted in the knife slipping out and on the tray of the girl. That insane mother first started a discussion with the man and when he wouldn’t react the way she expected him to, she demanded to talk to his supervisor. He dryly explained to her that he is the supervisor. First her face fell and then she started screaming around the plane “that man tried to kill my daughter!” several times.
    I was so shell shocked that someone actually would behave so badly that I kept sitting in my seat. But more then anything I wanted to get up and give her a juicy slap in the face and tell her what I think of her incredible behaviour.

    Glad to hear though that you made it home safely despite it all 😉
    Wish you lot of good sleep so that jet-lag won’t be such a hassle this time.

    • LOL @ “I wanted to get up and give her a juicy slap in the face and tell her what I think of her incredible behaviour” Oh Irony – I feel like doing that to someone almost everyday! 🙂 I had a really good sleep last night so maybe I’m back in this zone now (the chocolates are helping at work! 🙂 )

  5. Ahhh, the joys of air travel. No babies screaming at the top of their lungs? No backed up loos spreading a wonderful smell through the plane? No narky cows at the desk at the airport? Woman, they short changed you!
    Poor Emjay. I do not begrudge you the man sneezing and coughing. I HATE that. Thanks for the flu, arsehole! Let’s see if I can catch it whilst my immune system is low from jet lag!
    But I am glad you got to go back to Oz and be with your sun and feel the hot sun on your skin.
    Thank you for the card, I am sorry I did not say so before. It has been a hectic week with the boss on holiday and me working all her days.

  6. I forgot, my favourite – no young kids kicking the back of your seat? And their parents speak no English, so you can’t communicate you want them to stop without hand signals!
    And that poor woman, wonder what her story is. Did someone drug her and put her on the plane?

    • I was lucky – no kids anywhere near me. I saw some getting on and cringed but they were way down the very back of the plane.

      LOL – I knew you meant “son” but the “sUn” was also really nice to see.

      • “I saw some getting on and cringed…” – a woman after my own heart. No offence to people with kids; had one myself so did Emjay (had more than one)! But we did our time. Now we want other people’s kids to behave on the plane – I know I made my son behave when in public.

  7. Welcome back! Nice to hear from you again.
    There’s a special circle of hell reserved downstairs for those who cough and splutter all over everyone else on flights….

    • Way, way back people used to get dressed up to go on a flight – it was like going on a special occasion. It was probably also so expensive that only the well dressed could afford to go 🙂

      • I remember that in the 80s even. Now it’s sweatpants and flipflops. I personally prefer to be comfy cause international flying sucks but I am not getting on the plane in my pjs, thanks.

  8. Ugh, the last leg of your flight sounds like hell.

    It’s a pity you missed last Friday – you could have got on the plane in your summer clothes in Sydney and got off in DC comfortably wearing them because it was close to 30C.

  9. How frightening, that poor woman. I hope she’s okay. Looks like Cousin Becky just couldn’t take Ta Nicole anymore and sent her on her merry way to stay with a different relative? That’s harsh.

    I got pneumonia coming back from Ireland 😦 Now, I get boosters for the viral type but can still get bacterial. Flying is HAZARDOUS–forget the security scanners!

    Welcome back state-side!

    • You know I wondered about family …. I had a guy that looked 100 on my DC-LA flight going to Australia who had dementia and palsy and was travelling alone – after seeing the woman on the way back I wondered if families thought the rellies would be OK once they got on the plane. They might think “what harm can they get into; they’ll just be sitting there”……

      There are so many things that can go wrong for the “feeble” alone even in a confined space.

      Pneumonia! that’s awful! I looked into getting a shot after I had a bout a few years ago but decided to wait – might be worth doing when I fly again.

  10. Reminds me of the story I read a long time ago about the little boy that was flying from the US east coast to visit family in Oakland, California … and got off the plane to find himself in Auckland, NZ!

    Glad you’re back. You lose a day going, and gain a day coming back (right?) so the trip should actually be shorter!

    • LOL funny story GOM! For these past 3 days back at work I’ve spent a lot of time repeating and spelling words! An Irish workmate went to Ireland the same time I went to Oz and no-one will be able to understand either of us for a couple of weeks (him probably longer).

  11. Nice to have you back Emjay. Unusual in-flight entertainment. Far better that p.a. request than “is there a pilot in the house”.
    Load up with VitC and zinc…..you’ll beat the lurgi threat.

    • LOL @ “is there a pilot in the house” – most definitely something I never want to hear …. though here in DC since yesterday the news has been all about the story of the pilots of two planes having to land themselves when the air traffic controller fell asleep in the control tower!

  12. For the sick lady on the plane, my aunt had such an accident on plane : it’s an epilectic accident : she was undergoing treatment after a brain surgery for a vascular accident – although she was young.
    I hope the news about your “big baby” are great. All this will be soon a bad memory.
    I see you are very found of your first country Australia. Be patient, Spring and Summer are coming in the USA which is a great country. I hope your manservant and you will find a way to step closer together despite separations for work, so you’ll feel less alone and less nostalgic.
    Many loves. Have a very nice day.

    • Yes Apolline I do miss Australia a lot – I think I feel it especially keenly as my entire family is there. That must’ve been a very confusing time for your aunt – I hope she received good care. Just when I thought Spring was coming here we’ve been plunged back into winter weather!

    • Thank you Raymond. And, thank you for asking after the locksmith, economist and the Princess 🙂 All is good with them – though the economist has been a bit of a worry with his collapsed lung. It seems to be repaired now – I just hope it stays inflated!

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