My aunt Natasha traveled from Ukraine to Montreal over the weekend. It was her first time ever on an airplane, and the trip is long and exhausting. We were all worried about how she would deal with it both physically and emotionally. She has arrived already and she’s perfectly fine, but we were worried in the process.
“So imagine what happened to Aunt Natasha at the international airport in Kiev,” my sister told me. “She was sitting there, waiting for the flight, and then she met a woman who was also travelling from Kiev to Montreal on the same flights! So they traveled together.”
When I heard the story, my first impulse was to feel deep compassion for poor Aunt Natasha. Imagine the stress of traveling to Frankfurt, waiting there for several hours, and then taking another airplane to Canada! And as if that weren’t enough, now the unfortunate woman had to be sociable with a person she didn’t even know, spend time and pay attention to her, find things to talk about – how horrible! Gosh, I’d rather not travel at all rather than be forced to spend so much time with a chattering stranger. I mean, you’d probably have to remember that person’s name and listen to their stories and observations. Brrrrr.
And then I realized the story was being told to me as something positive. To a neurotypical eye, Aunt Natasha was lucky. Having a stranger to travel with was a good thing.
Neurotypicals are strange, people. I wonder, is anybody looking for a cure?