I call this photo “Close Call”.
Because it was. But not in any aeronautical sense – thank Gaga.
I was flying back from interstate a few weeks ago and as I walked down the sky tunnel towards the plane, I had some mild stomach cramps. Putting it down to nerves – I’m a terrible flyer – I didn’t think too much of it. But as I settled into my seat the cramps increased in number and intensity.
Within about 10 minutes I was starting to feel pretty panicked as searing, sweat-inducing cramps came hard and fast. Now, I’m not saying it was as bad as labour – it wasn’t – but I did actually have to resort to some calming breathing I learned in preparation for labour to cope with them.
On solid ground I would simply have made my way daintily to a powder room. But stomach cramps + plane toilet = bad in every way. Not least of which is an inability to access aforementioned toilets whenever you might need. Which can be often in these situations.
So I breathed through it. It was HORRIBLE. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve had stomach cramps so intense they make you double over. Afterall, I’ve travelled a fair bit through South East Asia where nightmarish stomach bugs are a rite of passage. However, this was worryingly reminiscent.
My panic levels rose again as we began our descent because now leaving my seat to make a dash to the toilet became not just a potential difficulty but a legal impossibility. So I did something I haven’t done for a very long time on a flight. I looked out the window.
When you’re a nervous flyer, looking out the window and confirming the fact you’re in a metal tube thousands of feet off the ground generally does little to calm the old nerves. But I was desperate my friends. I HAD to take my mind off the potentially disastrous situation that was brewing in, well let’s just call it the back end shall we?
So I looked out the window and I saw these rays of sunlight breaking through the clouds. It took my breath away. I started snapping photos. And for the last 5 minutes of the flight I was truly distracted.
I’m happy to report that I did not, as I had feared I might for the last half of that interminable hour-long flight, have to borrow a spare pair of pants from the captain in order to disembark.
As I ran off the flight, I barely had time to register my handsome husband and two children bearing flowers and chocolates as I fled into the closest ladies toilet.
Yes, it was a close call and I spent much of the next week in bed with gastroenteritis.
Those clouds, though, had a literal and metaphorical silver lining: even though I felt like I was about to pass out and/or humiliate my self in public in the worst possible way, for the first time in forever I had looked out the window of a plane and seen the majesty and beauty of a birdseye view of a gorgeous sun-lit sky. Yes, a silver lining indeed.
So much better than a brown lining, don’t you agree?
Hope your weekend is full of rays of sunshine.
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