So my next flight saw me crossing the great European continent to my final leg of the long haul before transiting to the Camino.
As the plane drew closer to Ireland, I realised that I was filled with eager anticipation. Was it because my trip years ago was cut short when Dad had a massive heart attack? (which he subsequently survived). Or was it because my grandmother hailed from the North of this mystical land? Or was it because I’d recently uncovered the convict past of more than one of our numerous ancestors enslaved by the British to help build the new colony?
Perhaps it was actually all the wonderful people that I’d met on the camino and hoped to catch up with. I don’t know really but i was getting a lump in my throat as we readied to land – this was interesting given I was only passing through for one night before heading to Saint Jean in the Pyrenees!
I’d planned flying to this final European destination so I could come back to the Emerald Isle and have a real visit before heading home. My beloved and I had tried to fit Ireland in last year but logistics and expenses proved too difficult when flying back from Madrid . Not this time! I have to come back here to get home to Oz!
Yep it was all going great guns until a few minutes before landing. I’d been lucky enough to stretch out over 3 seats and sleep some of the flight. I’d pinched some pillows from the front row and had a nice rest. But as we were cruising across the Irish Sea one of the cabin crew flew past me with a mask and an oxygen cylinder. I thought that was a little unusual but my beloved is diver Dave remember and there’s always an oxygen cylinder or the like hanging around our place so I wasn’t too perplexed. But then another attendant lent over and asked if I’d mind handing her the pillows I’d been using because they had an emergency. I thought someone might have been nauseous like I’d been on the first leg – so again, not too concerned.
I couldn’t see down the back but after a few minutes the crew were securing the cabin for landing and all seemed to be fine.
We landed after a bit of a bumpy ride through some clouds but all was well and the captain said we could turn our phones on. At this point an older European man walked up the front with an air of authority. He seemed to be very comfortable heading into the galley area. I could hear the sweet Finnair attendant sternly repeating “sit down”. The plane was still taxiing at this point.
We eventually came to a standstill and I stood to grab my carryon from the overhead locker. The stairs had not been delivered to the exit and it was apparent that the man was still eager to open the door regardless of this missing piece of the puzzle . The woman was now shouting”sit down” repeatedly. Two young men pushed past and I finally got a bit of an idea of the emergency to which they had been attending before. There was a bit of pushing and shoving, mention of delirium and no English and a suggestion of incoherence. I slid back into my seat row as I realised the man was oblivious to the requirement to sit down and was going to fight his way out. Finally he was pushed face to the ground two metres ahead of me and the young men struggled to control him as the woman began tying a cable tie around his feet. All the while the two men sat on him trying to grab his arms from under him. The police suddenly appeared behind them and the four men still struggled to pull his arms out from under and secure them with handcuffs. All a bit difficult in the aisle of a small aircraft.
It wasn’t like the movies – there was no kicking him into submission- they were asking him to comply and struggling to restrain him all the while talking calmly- soon realising he didn’t seem to understand anything. Eventually they managed to handcuff his hands behind him and lift him back to his cable tied feet.
Whilst mesmerised by these events I failed to realise the rest of the passengers had been exiting via the rear door. I also took my leave and slipped out quickly hoping I was not going to be delayed further by the interesting yet disturbing dramatic event.
Well that was an interesting arrival!
Céad míle fáilte!
A hundred thousand welcomes indeed!