#67 of the windy Santorini

I flew from Athens to Santorini on Olympic Air. The plane departed late and that no longer came as a surprise to me in Greece. Approximately 10 minutes before landing, the pilot made an announcement that Santorini was experiencing strong winds and the plane may not be able to land. He said that he would try for 5 minutes and if the plane could not land, we would go back to Athens.

Some people groaned upon hearing the announcement. Apparently, there were people on board who tried to fly to Santorini in the afternoon but their flights had to turn back to Athens. They did not want to go back to Athens again. To our pleasant surprise, the pilot attempted a landing and we were all really happy that he was willing to try to land the plane despite the unfavourable weather conditions.

That was the worst flight landing that I have ever experienced in my life. Many passengers, including myself, adopted the “brace” positions and held our collective breath. Someone exclaimed, “Hallelujah!” while another passenger tried to reassure others by saying, “It’s ok, it’s ok…” I attempted a feeble, desperate prayer, “Please keep us safe, God…”

It turned out to be okay and all the passengers cheered to celebrate the safe landing. Everyone was jovial, especially the ones whose flights did not manage to land in Santorini earlier that day. I felt a strong sense of joy and I was just so thankful that I escaped death yet again and I thought that anything good that came after from this point was simply a bonus. I thought, “What more could I ask for?”

30 minutes later when I was in the hotel room with my brother and cousin, I realized I could ask for a lot more. For example, why isn’t there WiFi in the hotel room? We started looking at the bus schedule, discussing which bus we should take and what time we should get up on the following morning.

From this episode, I learnt that life goes on. Sometimes in life, you get a moment when you feel thankful to be alive but soon enough, you realize that the details of living will catch up with you. It’s hard to feel thankful to be alive when there are many other things on your mind that remain unresolved. I guess that is part of being human. But at the end of the day, when things are more settled and I look back at the day, I will make a conscious effort to remind myself that being busy with mundane stuff is a privilege by itself.

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