It's not every day you hear someone on a phone say "hi Sandra? It's Bapsi."
Did I hear that right? Bapsi?
Thankfully, there is a seat between us on the plane. On this seat she has placed her purse. From her purse, her boarding card can be seen. I can see one name but not the other. The name I can see is Bapsi.
This is before takeoff.
Bapsi yammers away to her friend looking for all the world like an Indian Edith Piaf only Edith I'm fairly certain never appeared in public in a grey sweat pant.
The cell discussion continues until after the rotund stewardess has twice asked her to end the call as the flight will be taking off.
The flight takes off.
I turn my attention to my reading, a humourous book by Iain Levison called A WORKING STIFF'S MANIFESTO [A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember].
She starts in on a regular sized bag of nacho Doritos. She leans over and offers me one. Being the anti-human that I am, I politely give her the brush off and continue on with my reading.
She's eating those Doritos at the rate of one Dorito per minute. This drives me to distraction. Tiny nibbles from each of the corners, several chews per nibble and on she continues. Everyone knows that's not how you eat them. Jeez.
After she gives some chip dust the brush off from her hands to her lap and onto the floor, she takes out a book.
She puts it down after a while between us. The book is called Water. The book jacket says that it's based on the film Water by Deepa Mehta, a film people tell me was very good.
The book jacket says that it's author is Bapsi Sidhwa. Hmm, two seperate Bapsis in one day?
Now I'm curious and want to talk to her mere seconds after having thought maybe I could have her parachuted off the plane for abusing the Doritos that way.
I feel like an idiot. Hi, I couldn't help listening in on your phone call and also looking sideways at your boarding card poking out of your purse and refusing your offer of Doritos but are you....? There's no easy way to do this.
I wait a bit. She flips through the book. She's not actually reading it. Could be that she is the author and is going to do a reading? Seems logical.
I go back to my book and since it's a short flight, toward the end, I say to her How is your book? which, if she did happen to write it, is a loaded question.
She smiles and says it's quite good.
I ask if she enjoyed the film.
She says oh yes, it was very good, have you seen it?
I say that I haven't seen it yet but hear only good things about it.
She then starts asking me something about the weather and then it's pretty much time to go.
Now that I'm home, I look her up and yes, it's her. She is an internationally known author and the photos of her online show a more cleaned up version of her.
I guess I can't fault her or anyone else just because I insist on going formal on these short haul flights anymore anyway.
The most ridiculous part of this story is that of course, because I like to pretend I'm a writer, when she first got on board, I was jotting down a few notes.
I entered her into my note taking because during her phone call, you'd have thought she was at home. She was sitting there with one leg up on the armrest of the person's chair in front of her and swinging her leg, having a grand old time.
I thought to myself who does this chick think she is?
Maybe some day I'll wear grey sweat pants on a flight and confound someone.