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dimanche 20 janvier 2013


Once you have been working with American Indians you begin to notice and understand symbolism of human behaviour and also understand that not all which occurs is amenable to explanations, faith is important and that being a good person is what is rewarded over and over again.
Something happened this past week during my visit to the Indians in Nebraska confirmed my already ground belief in the holistic interpretation of life of the Indians.
I arrived at the United Airlines Check in counter, I had already checked in on line, but had a bag to check in. An experienced agent, whom I recognized, was manning the desk and motioned me over. I gave her my printed boarding passes: Omaha to New York to London, arriving at London Heathrow Airport at 7 55 AM in the morning.
She asked may I see your ID please?
I was in a happy mood, so I said to her, I recognize your face, and don’t you recognize mine?
I do, but I still must ask you for your ID. I showed my passport to her.
She was tugging at the computer key and my mind was elsewhere, when she suddenly interrupted my reverie and asked me:
Would you like to get to London a little early?
Normally this kind of favours are not easily given but when asked is accorded to certain level of frequent fliers, of which I am one, but I did not request any favours today.
At what time would the flight you suggest get to London?
It arrives there at 545 AM and you might be able to avoid the rush at the Immigration and Customs, she said in a soft voice.
I would take the flight as you suggested if you could give me a nice seat. She checked and said I will give you a seat and at this moment no one is sitting next to you.
Thank you very much and I took the boarding passes and left.
I was now routed through Omaha to Chicago to London.
The flight to London was almost empty and I was surprised that there were no one sitting anywhere near me and I could easily spread out. Even more pleasant was that the flight was only a 6 h 40 minutes, one full hour shorter than the usual flight time.
I had checked the weather in London and the Continent few days before and they had predicted snow. After all it is winter, one expects snow, I thought.
The flight arrives at London, frigid cold, quickly through immigration and no one at the customs, walked over to the central bus station and by 6 am I was able to leave the airport and by 6 45 am I was at my destination.
It was cold, even though the temperature was only 0 C, but I had just left the reservation in Nebraska where the temperature was a minus 10 C! But it felt colder in London, the damp cold.

Soon after I settled down for a cup of coffee, the first flakes of snow began falling, and the pace accelerated and soon there was a full-fledged storm! The worst they had for the past few years…
300 flights at Heathrow was cancelled during the day, some flights had to circle around before they were allowed to land and some even after landing had to delay their entry into the gates for hours, up to six hours on the ground!
I have no doubt in my mind that had I taken the flight as planned from New York to London, my travel day would have been very different.
When you are with Indians for a while, you would realize the significance of such happenings. They and neither do I, believe that the intervention of the lady who had never smiled at me before did this without a reason! I am grateful.

More than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday and passengers complained about being keep on board aircraft for several hours awaiting take-off and then being unable to collect their luggage