My lack of height has often been a source of consternation, hilarity and, sometimes, plain old inconvenience. But it’s struck me how often I have received kindness from my fellow passengers while travelling in a plane.
You see, I can never, ever, reach the overhead storage compartment. You’ve seen corgis trying to hop onto the couch, right? That would be me.
It is not always possible to do without carry-on luggage because there are essentials for a long flight: reading glasses, reading material, munchies, hand lotion, medicines … I must strategise how to best cram what I need into the seat pocket before my carry-on bag has to be stowed.
I can’t very well keep dinging for a crew member for help. Or keep waking up the folks beside me to get my bag – have you tried doing that when you’re stuck at the window seat and the other two passengers are asleep?
Kindly crew members have often come to my rescue to stow my bag overhead as I reach my seat. But when we’ve landed after a 12-hour flight? The crew is understandably busy. That’s when the click-clacks of releasing seat belts trigger the big question: how do I retrieve my bag? I mean, the compartment handle is even higher up! And my bag has usually migrated to the rear of the compartment.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I want to thank every single kind passenger who has ever handed me my bag while getting his or hers. Or reached over from across the aisle to get my bag. Or simply asked if I needed a hand (yes, please!).
I refuse to assume someone will help me just because I’m vertically challenged. Why would I take things for granted? Because you’re getting your bag doesn’t mean you have to get mine for me. If I asked, you probably would have, whether or not you secretly resent being asked just because you were tall. Or taller.
The point is, strangers have voluntarily extended helping hands. I’d like to think this is because they were kind. This kindness, which some might consider as a bit of a mole hill because, hey, it’s just getting a bag, no biggie, matters to me.
And that is what I want to express my appreciation for.