Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Travel Mercies

Every morning, before we leave the house, my husband and I pray together. We give thanks for all the blessings we receive, we pray for people and their needs, we pray for God to guide us in every thing we do, great and small.

Before a recent trip, we prayed for travel mercies. Most of these trips are long, endurance tests really. About the best I can do is to bury myself in a book or magazine or puzzle.

I remember when travel used to be fun. I remember when there were ladies lounges on board, and even bars (not that I ever hung out in bars). I remember the thrill of adventure.

Praying for travel mercies helps me to see blessings when they appear. And this last trip, they did appear. Every line I entered, I ended up at the front, or almost. I was able to shower in Amsterdam, and to be the first one, so (I’m a little compulsive here) the bathroom had been thoroughly cleaned overnight and I worried less about foot fungus and other invisible threats to my well-being.)

I had one very funny travel mercy – this has to be the hand of God.

It was what I call a high testosterone flight – mostly men, heading back home for a few weeks before coming back to Kuwait, or Iraq. When I found my seat, the buy behind me had his foot up on my armrest, at the very back of the armrest. The truth is, it doesn’t bother me, it is not the part of the armrest I use, but when I sat down, I smelled the most awful odor. . . sweaty feet.

In one book about life in the Gulf, I read that it is wise to wear sandals so that your feet can breathe, that wearing closed shoes makes your feet sweat. I can tell you, it isn’t just the Gulf – any hot climate, even cold climates, and track / tennis shoes will cause smelly feet. Hot weather just accelerates the process and accentuates the results.

What to do? It’s a full flight, and I don’t want an angry, insulted man behind me kicking my seat all night because I had the audacity to mention his smelly feet were invading my nostrils. If I keep my head turned away, I can bear it, but the flight is getting longer and longer with the thought of having to bear smelly feet all the way. This was a first for me.

I had a plan. As soon as the plane would take off, I would cover the guys foot with my blanket, and hope that would take care of the odor. I was just waiting for the right time.

Instead, I heard him complain to the flight attendant that his head set wasn’t working. The flight attendant brought him another head set, and that didn’t work. When the third one didn’t work – he changed his seat! Woooo HOOOOOOO, how is that for a travel mercy? I slept like a baby.

May 15, 2008 - Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Hygiene, KLM, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Travel |


  1. That is totally gross and rude!

    Comment by Enigma | May 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. well thats how you get rewarded for your pure intentions 🙂 Good for you. You are so sweet

    Comment by Ansam | May 15, 2008 | Reply

  3. Just think of the poor person he sat next to after that 😛

    Comment by jewaira | May 15, 2008 | Reply

  4. What’s the old saying… “Good things come to those who wait.” 😀

    And perhaps the person his feet attempted to assail next had a convenient head cold… one of two things would’ve resulted: (1) the congestion would’ve kept them from smelling the stinky feet, and/or (2) the powerful odor would’ve cleared their sinuses! It’s a win/win situation! LOL!

    Comment by Lofter | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. Enigma – On my second flight, another guy put his feet up there – I think people are so miserable and crowded, and especially these bigger fellas- they really need more room and they do the best they can – but the second guy didn’t have smelly feet and it wasn’t a problem.

    Ansam – it doesn’t always work that way, but this time I just had a great big grin at how merciful it was.

    Jewaira – hmmm, hadn’t thought of that. Like Lofter says, maybe the next victim had less sensitive nostrils!

    LOOOLLLL @ Lofter!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  6. Yeah that sandles thing is important, I do that now when I go to Far east, and shorts, bye bye jeans and sports shoes, feels nice to have air running around my feet 🙂

    Comment by Purgatory | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  7. 🙂 I feel the same way about thobes and dresses – let that air circulate!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  8. this is racist, but i am obligated to say this: arab men have the most disgusting feet, yet many are proud of their monstrosities proudly putting them up on display by the window as they drive. ewwf!

    Comment by Mrm | May 17, 2008 | Reply

  9. Mrm – Hehehehehehehe – but it was an American man! He wore white sox!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 18, 2008 | Reply

  10. The churches we’ve attended for the last 18 years have all prayed for Travel Mercies, too, so I decided to create them. If you would have had one, you could have struck up a conversation with the guy or pretended he died from the smell… although God worked things out for you just fine! You can check out Travel Mercies at my mom’s online store:, under the products tab. God bless!

    Comment by Matt | June 28, 2012 | Reply

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