A few seconds too long at London Heathrow Airport

I tried my best not to breathe. Don’t gasp for air. Don’t move. Don’t do it. This too shall pass. This too shall pass, I tell myself.

My eyes bulged as I held my breath, glaring at the innocent strangers surrounding me. Don’t do it, Liv. Keep it together. Don’t do it.

Uh oh. Game over. I gasped.

There I was, only 1 hour in to the Malaysian Airline 787 flight to Kuala Lumpur, spluterring like a fool.

A chunk of cantaloupe melon which I was merrily eating from my airplane food tray had gone down the wrong way and the coughing and spluterring was uncontrollable. Fellow travellers curled away into their seats in sheer disgust. What a selfish girl, exposing us all to the coronavirus on a 12 hour flight. Shame on you, girl. Shame on you.

“Wrong! Way! Huhhhh – choking! Mel-on… Wrong… Hole.” I did my best to articulate.

I said before going on this trip, that I wasn’t put off by the hysteria that the media has created surrounding the virus… But in all honesty, it is a little unverving. Especially seeming to be the only two humans travelling and not wearing a face mask.

The 4 and a half hour coach journey to Heathrow, for example. Some woman, a couple of rows back (and another rare non-face-masker), was coughing up her lungs every couple of minutes. Not a smokers cough, not a mucusy cough, but a harsh, stubborn, dry cough – just like the NHS guidelines states.

‘We’re doomed.’ Being in the same claggy air as Mrs Splutter Guts for such a time, we were bound to catch something. And oh, what’s that? Yup. My throat is sore.

In a 20 minute stop at a service station, my proactive self purchased a pack of Halls Extra Strong (menthol action). Extra strong – ya not wrong. If you want your eyes to stream and your nose hairs to feel like they are being ripped out, give ’em a go.

Due to the virus, the airport was much quieter than usual. What was the usual though, was beeping as I went through security (gets me every time). This time, however was certainly the most thorough search I have had to date… Now I’m not sure there is a pretty way to describe it… Nope, there’s not. So here goes –

The swift all body rub by the stern gum-chewing female security offiicer had a very memorable moment – that moment being a very firm pressing on my pubic bone. Was it an accident? Did her hand slip? The question is, why was she there a couple of seconds too long? Perhaps, like in any job, she had a moment of daydreaming, wondering what she was going to make for her dinner that night and what might be on the telly. And then she thought, oops. I’ve been touching this lady’s private parts for too long. My bad.

I let out an involuntary giggle and my cheeks flushed a deep shade of red with the embarrassment that the crowds of people surrounding us knew exactly where she had just rubbed… I immediately told Mum and I’m glad she found my trauma amusing.

 

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