Subject: Re: Paradise Lost
Hi Sue & Tony:

You have my sympathies as I can relate to having an accident overseas. I'm sending get-better-soon vibes. Tell Tony it can be fun to travel through airports in a wheelchair.

Although I haven't gone the wheelchair route, I did have both, then one, arm in a sling from India to Solomon Islands on one very long trip (accident, tripped over my duffel bag). Security in India treated me like a breakable doll and insisted I keep my fanny pack attached to my body and my purse slung around my neck when I went through the security checkpoint - guess they couldn't be bothered to unmummify my arms - got me "special" chairs to sit in (anything next to them), cups of chai, then placed my chair right next to the door leading to the plane ramp at boarding time, walked me down the ramp right up to my seat, other passengers carried my luggage to check-in counters when I coudn't negotiate escalators (had to remove one arm from sling to carry luggage down), and also carried the daypack onto the plane, I was allowed easy access through staff doors to avoid stairs and such - and got even more royal treatement in Bangkok. I hadn't requested it but the airlines apparently had radioed ahead and an airport staff member met me inside the plane so I bypassed customs, luggage pickup and immigration (airport staff took my passport to be stamped while I sat in a corridor, completely out of sight of the immigration official, and sipped a fruit juice), then booked me into a moderate hotel. The hotel was aghast when I checked in and the front desk clerk kept trying to help me with everything, as if arms in a sling meant that I couldn't walk or that my brain didn't function. All rather sweet.

Air France stewardess filled in my landing card on the way to Bali (right arm in sling and I'm so right handed it's ridiculous), and by the time I got to Bali I only had one arm in a sling so the royal treatment ebbed somewhat, but not the caring way everyone treated me, from there to West Papua to PNG to Solomon Islands.

So, Tony has a cushy time ahead of him - one hopes.

Nadine Vancouver