Back in economy class on Emirates airline, a pilot-in-training is sitting next to me. A young girl. What are the chances. It’s symbolic that my journey kicked off so memorably with my two pilot friends in Emirates Business Class on the flight over, and then weeks later, my trip has come full circle by sitting next to Daisy, a recent graduate of aviation school at Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie. You would think meeting a female pilot is rare, and it is – she was one of only four ladies in her class. Daisy, who had been visiting family in Hong Kong, wants to fly small planes. I told her about my flight to Dubai and my four new Emirates Business Class friends – pilots Gary and Mani, and Nofel. She loved the piloting spew stories – maybe someday she will make some of her own (stories, not puke). Our biz class group, now aptly called the 41,000ft Club, has been keeping in touch over email, trading worldly stories. A reunion has been suggested – in air or on land?
The flight was still of high standards – Emirates is truly where it’s at. Yummy food, socks and eye shade, wine with dinner … what a great flight. On my other side was a guy who kept getting up to drink, so half the time I had no seatmate. Daisy slept with her eyes half open though, which kept freaking me out. The flight attendant came by while she was sleeping once and asked her if she wanted a drink, and we both thought she was lying there awake. Funny – but oh so creepy.
How long had it been since I saw Reality Bites? I love those movies that never go out of style. Winona and Ethan in their heydays (Janeane Garofalo, where did you go, you were so good). It was appropriate to me as I settled in for a long flight back to reality, after a now-surreal trip that had me seeing things my eyes did not believe. Did reality bite? No it didn’t – even coming home to a snowstorm. But dipping out of the reality I know into other fantastical worlds every now and again is my kind of living.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver