The planes are so small that travel north. Theres only one airline and its the type that you have to walk on the actual run way to board. We're delayed for 45 min. becauase of weight issues. In the end they decide that our luggage will not accompany us. It will arrive two hours later.
Everyone always says that theres no difference between the Canadians and the Americans, but thats actually not true. The Canadians are polite and pleasant to be around. This becomes apparent to me while we all sit on a small hot plane with our hair going limp. Behind me two strangers mingle in friendly conversation. I overhear, "in situations like these all you can do is change your attitude," and then light laughter before moving on to exchange stories about their family history.
Theres a propellor outside my window which is going to move this little plane through the sky over mountains that are always snow capped and through wind that you don't usually feel in big airplanes. I always ask for a window seat forgetting every time how freaky it can be. The captain speaks but I can hardly hear him over engine. I make out, "24,000 ft. and maxed out weight."
If this were America, there would have ben at least one swearing customer, angry over the delay and lack of luggage. Instead the scene is calm. There are two little girls, unaccompanied sitting next to me. Another woman who looks like a grandmother promises their father to keep and extra eye on them. Theres an obese tough looking native woman rocking her baby and when she catches my eye her frown turns into a smile.
Welcome to Canada.
You can see the weather roll in which always makes my heart pick up. When your in the all white of cloud it tends to be a little bumpier. When we break through we are still flying over the endless sea of mountain tops. Peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys. Its hard not to think of death. The attendant pulls out a stack of tomato juice from one of the over head bins. Oh right, Canadians and Ceasars. They go hand in hand.
The two little sisters remind me of me when I was little. Scrawny brown things, curly hair, all legs and eyes. It was their hair that gave them away or rather their fathers hair. At first glance he appeared to be a native father with his two girls. Black hair, straight and slicked back, but surprisingly thin hair, too thin for a native of these parts. I cast a second glance at the girls, curly hair and bridged noses. Nope, not native from here. I also have curly hair which is why no one ever guesses I'm from these parts, but I do have the cheeks. The girls don't have those either. And then they speak Spanish, "aha!"
After growing up in Hawai'i, a cultural melting pot and enduring the life long question of, "so what is your background?" or the guesses, which are always wrong, I've gotten quite good at this game. One of the little girls, the youngest throws up in her bag and her older sister holds her hand and looks at me.
Heres the thing, I communicate mainly with children through my eyes, a lot of eye smiling and long held gazes, but I'm never quite sure verbally where to begin. The stewardess is finishing her round, but her back is turned. I stay in my seat across the aisle and eye smile at them, trying to tell them it will be just fine, that the stewardess will be there soon to take the bag. They return the look and we smile back and forth, until the little one rests her head and closes her eyes.