I’m back from Northern Cyprus, which I will talk about in the next entry. For this entry, I want to talk about something that happened on my way back to Abu Dhabi.
Often when there’s no jet bridge to connect the plane to the terminal, passengers get unloaded onto the tarmac, then into these buses that transport you to the terminal. In Istanbul, on one of my layovers, that’s what happened. And while we were crunched in there, I started to be really bothered by the odor of this man standing next to me. It was really quite unbearable. And then I started to feel nauseous. And dizzy. Like I was actually going to vomit quite soon. I crouched down, hoping that the change in position might change my discomfort. And the man sitting in front of me immediately offered me his seat. I took it gratefully and focused on breathing and feeling calm. My temperature had risen quickly and I was sweating, but trying to calm myself.
Then we arrived at the terminal and I got off the bus shakily, hoping I would make it into the building to find a new seat. As we were walking into the building, my vision blacked out. I was still conscious and moving forward, but I couldn’t see anything and I knew I was going to faint if I didn’t sit down immediately. I tried to move towards the side and not be in the middle of the flow of people, but I still basically sat in the floor in the middle of a crowd of people.
And I was immediately swarmed by old ladies trying to help me. They offered me water and candies and one started spraying perfume on my wrist for some reason. And I was just sitting there, breathing, trying not to faint, and not knowing how to react to their swarm of kindness. The one with the perfume kept touching my head and neck, where I had broken out into a profuse sweat. Eventually I accepted the water and some chocolates and they helped me to a bench. And then some men who worked at the terminal entrance brought me water. And then a sandwich and chocolate and more water.
And I was sitting there, wondering what the hell had just happened. And being so grateful that people took the time to be concerned about me, a total stranger in a sea of strangers, willing to help in whatever way they could. It was honestly very touching.