I landed just a few hours ago, in the beautiful (if cold and drizzly) London. All this via Chicago, with an over night flight. On American Airlines. No fun.
Until the lady seated be my on the long-haul flight initiated conversation.
Generally I do not go in for the chatty flight-time thing. I stare intently at my Kindle the whole way through and make as little eye contact as possible.
This particularly lady was friendly and I am not so indisposed to a chat that I will ignore somebody heading that way. And glad I am that I did not (ignore her).
Here is to the 76 year old woman traveling to London and Paris, to meet up with her friend for a holiday. She told me about flying a biplane over the Alaska mountains, and going piranha-fishing on the Amazon river. She told me about standing up to chauvinism and rudeness in Sicily and Turkey. She also told me about her career running a foundry, at a time when it was not common for women to run any business, let alone a foundry. She combated sexism, condescension and straight-out sabotage through quality work and smarts. Having her tell me she was glad to meet a woman running a business was, I say sincerely, an honour.