a total stranger

In one night in 2013, i took a flight from Australia to Indonesia via Singapore. It was total 13 hour journey, with 2 hour lay-over time in Changi Airport, Singapore. To maximise my stay in Indonesia, i took night fight to arrive in the next morning in the destination city.

It was a typical traveling day. I packed my bag. I went to the Tullamarine Airport. I went to check-in counter. I boarded the plane. I wore the seat belt. I smiled with a lady and a gentleman that sat beside me. The plane took off. I prepared myself to sleep. And, finally i slept.

Usually, this can go in two directions, whether i sleep very very well or i can not sleep at all. That night in that flight, i slept for 2 hours, woke up, and surprised with what i saw. Calm down, nothing bad happened to me. But, something certainly happened to someone.

I saw an Australian woman had difficulties to breath. Beside her, there was an Asian woman helped her. She tried to calm her down. Next to her was the stewardess stood in the aisle trying to find out what happened. And yes, next to her was me. I sat in the aisle across the Asian woman.

I tried to analyse the situation and saw whether there was something i can help. The passenger had her friend and cabin crew to help her. Soon after that, both of them vacated to the back. It was near the aisle where usually cabin crew prepared some food, drinks, amenities. When i went to the lavatory in the back of the aircraft, i saw her friend and cabin crew were helping the lady to breath using oxygen can. This is usually prepared in aircraft for emergency purpose. She tried to comfort her, pat her in her back, like what a great friend did.

Since i knew that she was in the good hands, i tried to go back to my sleep. However, i woke up nearly every hour. Every time i woke up, i tried to find out how is the lady going; does she get better? Finally, after few hours and few woke up, both of the lady came back to their seat. She looked okay.

Curious on what happened, i started the conversation with the Asian lady that sat across me. This conversation happened when the cabin crew was serving breakfast just before landing.

I asked, “What happened? Is everything okay?”

She answered, “The person sat beside me was having difficulties in breathing. But, now, everything is okay.”

I was a bit surprise with her explanation. She addressed her “friend” as “the person sat beside me”. Then, i asked, “Do you know her?”

She answered, “No, we just met in the airplane. I am traveling alone.”

I was really surprise with her answer. From what I saw in a few separate moments, it seemed that she was a close friend of her – hugged her, gave her support, was there for her almost all the time in the flight. She showed that she care for her. Thats why i assumed that they are two friends travelling together. It turned out that she was a total stranger, as stranger as it can be, to me, and to the Australian lady.

We never know what will happen in our life, especially in traveling. I might be okay all the times – but i can be sick, too. And if i am sick or lost in any circumstances, i hope i meet some one like her.

The conversation continued to where both of us travel – she travelled to Taiwan via Singapore.  Not long after that conversation, we need to prepare for landing. When we disembarked, we were walking not far from each other. I was lucky enough to witness this act of kindness while i am traveling, but i always shy to ask their names. But, this time, for unknown reason, i approached her, smiled, and said, “If i may know, what is your name?”

And, she smiled back to me, “Veronica.”

That was the last time i saw her and I might not saw her again. But, Veronica, a total stranger that i met, has shown me humanity and kindness – a value that all each of us has, naturally. If you have a story like this, please share it with your friends. World is better with good story like this. :’)



Note : This story is a real life story i experienced by myself. The only difference is the name of the subject. I use term of Australian and Asian only for description purpose and for showing that love, kindness, and caring are universal. There is no intention of any kind of racism.


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