I know it sounds like a bad joke. But this little story has been festering in my mind and I just have to share it…On my flight back from Boston, I connected via Newark, New Jersey. That’s a great airport to fly in and out of, by the way. Beautiful views of Manhattan, and even of the Statue of Liberty. I don’t get to New York very often, so to at least see it from that vantage point, makes me feel good.
But I digress…I had the a seat in the very last row of the plane. You know what that means. Directly across from the bathroom. Nice. The last people to board the plane were two men, apparently Orthodox Jews. Black suits with long coats, white shirts, long curls, you get the picture. I have to say, I don’t see them in Portland, so it was a little different. They were not seated together, and to the obvious dismay of one of them, he was seated in the middle seat in the row in front of me, flanked on either side by two women. About an hour into the flight, I noticed he wasn’t in his seat, and hadn’t been for quite a while. I looked back, and he was standing in the little galley area, across from the bathroom. He stood there for most of his flight, except when the seatbelt light came on and the attendant announced everyone had to take their seat. People were looking at him funny, some mumbling about him needing to sit down, etc. I thought he must be frightened to fly and maybe that was his coping mechanism.
About 4 hours into the flight, a woman in line for the bathroom spoke with him, and while I couldn’t hear everything, it did turn out she was offering to change seats with him. He went up front, and she sat down in his seat. He had been upset about his seat because he is not allowed to touch women in any way, even by sitting next to them in an airplane. She was Jewish and familiar with the customs and traditions. I thought it was kind of her to offer to switch with him.
When I got off the plane, I stopped at the counter and was rearranging my bags when the two gentlemen approached an attendant, asking where they should go to get their connecting flight. They were connecting to Moses Lake.
Moses Lake, Washington? Is Moses Lake an attraction to Orthodox Jews? I did some googling and couldn’t find much about Moses Lake, except that it was the site of a horrible student shooting in 1996, and this past weekend they had a festival going on featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon. I don’t think they were going to Moses Lake to get their Mister Roboto on. The name Moses is obviously an important one in religion, so it made me wonder if Moses Lake attracts Orthodox Jews? Or if it was just a very strange coincidence. What do you think?