Thursday:) There Are No Strangers, There Are Only New Friends

29 Dec

“I meet people and they become chapters in my stories.”

Avijeet Das


Meet my new friend, Gustavo Bastidas. Gustavo sat next to me on my flight from Chicago.

I was supposed to sit in 15B on this tiny American flight, the kind with two tiny seats on one side and one on the other. I tried to get my backpack in the overhead compartment. Not a suitcase, just a backpack. It didn’t fit, and I managed to bump my head about twenty times trying to do so. In the meantime, I was in the aisle seat of two when a couple came by. The husband had the window next to me and the wife in the row behind me. While I was still struggling to figure out what to do with my backpack, I offered my aisle seat to the wife so they could sit together.

I scrunched into the row behind me, and decided to just scoot to the window seat and give my future seat mate the aisle. Heck, seat 16 was near the back anyway, I think only 18 rows. 3X18=54. The plane only held 54. I squeezed my smaller bag in the overhead and shoved my backpack under my seat. Ok, it fit, but no place for my feet. My feet rested on the pack and half in my chest. Ah, comfort on American Eagle! Not!

A young man came down the aisle and sat next to me. He offered to crawl over into the window seat, but I said I was fine. We buckled up and the plane was taxiing within a few minutes. The young man closed his eyes and I leaned against the window and tried to snooze. We didn’t talk.

It was just under a two hour flight. About an hour and a half later, I noticed my neighbor was drawing in a sketch book. I asked to look at his drawings. He was happy to show me the pen and ink characters, calligraphy and graphic designs. When we started talking, I noticed a slight accent and asked where he was from. Gustavo was originally from Venezuela.

Well, you know me. We shared pictures, and stories of families, friends, and artwork. I showed him some pictures of my hand-painted glassware, ornaments, and paintings. I even practiced some of my rusty Spanish with him. Then, of course, I had to take a selfie and ask if we could be Facebook friends.

Gustavo lives in Michigan, with a degree in commercial design, very talented and creative, and is looking for work. If you have any prospects, let me know.

I meet the nicest people at the airport or on the plane. I’m glad I offered my seat to the young separated couple. Look forward to keeping in touch.

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