I travelled on my own to Germany for my son’s wedding. The train stopped at our local station. I had a reserved seat which is advisable when travelling on the German Bundesbahn. I remember entering the carriage, seating for 6. It was occupied by five men only and they all seemed to pounce together to put my baggage, just 1 case, onto the rack. Oh the courtesy of the masculine race, I enjoyed it. When I left the train in Mainz to get my next connection they were ready again to help. Unfortunately the next connection to Koblenz was an empty carriage, but then I needed no help for a luggage rack as I left the luggage on the floor, not being a hindrance to anyone. Koblenz to the Mosel valley was a local train and had the locals in the seats. It was not a problem, because when travelling locally people seem to be more relaxed and instead of reading the newspaper, they are ready for a conversation.
My last journey alone to far off places was a little different. There was something wrong somewhere and i just before I went to England for my father’s funeral it was discovered that I had MS and been suffering with it for many years, but it was never diagnosed. OK, no problem, I am one of the lucky ones, and except for my funny way of walking and being a little incapacitated with normal tasks, I could manage.
So I arrived at the airport, walking with a stick, and was directed to a special seat to wait for the plane to be announced with a couple of other stick people: my first experience of special treatment. A young man in airport uniform helped me up the steps to the plane and when landing in London and on the return journey I got the special treatment again.
My days of flying are now finished. I could still manage a train, but it had got a little more difficult now with a walker, but I notice that people are very considerate and kind and complete strangers help with your bags and climbing the steps. Luckily we have those cases on wheels today.
I remember the good old days when we would go on our annual holiday and dad would have to carry the case(s), sometimes tied with string around them as an extra precaution as they were not as strong as those of today.