A Greater Appreciation for the Great Wall

Lucy Swett
March 30, 2017

An open letter to the rude foreign woman on the plane:

I have never felt the need to write an open letter because it sounds stupid. You will probably never read this, and I always thought that was the point of letters. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter if you read this because it was a good lesson for me, and something I hope my blog readers can learn from too.

First of all, I was having a really nice nap before you interrupted it. I would have rather not woken up to you complaining to the poor flight attendant that you want her to move the flipping plane, her words exactly. I will admit I understand why you were upset because you had one day to go to the Great Wall, but that was your first mistake.

If you talk to anyone who has gone to the Great Wall before, they would have told you to get to the Great Wall at 8 or 9 in the morning, so getting there at 11 or 12 will not make a difference. I hope you get to see the Great Wall and can appreciate all the hard work the Chinese put into building such a beautiful structure. However, I don’t think the Great Wall will change your attitude because if you feel the need to scream about a flight delay, then I don’t know what’s going to change your attitude.

On the other hand, I would like to thank you because you made me grateful for a lot of things in the 15 minutes the whole back of the plane had to endure your tirade. You made me realize why it’s okay to sit back and not raise my voice, even though you argue that the reason Americans get what they want is because they do raise their voice. Of course, making your voice heard is a good thing in many instances, but in this instance it was uncalled for. Forty-five extra minutes is not worth dissing a whole country. Yes, it seems like every domestic flight takes off an hour after the posted time, but now you and I know that, so we can plan for that next time.

Additionally, you’re part of the reason that I’m sometimes embarrassed to be American. You feed the stereotype that Americans are loud and obnoxious. There are many things wrong with this stereotype of course, for one, I am usually quiet and unobtrusive. Therefore, the people calling Americans loud and obnoxious are wrong, but that does not mean you are right.

Not to mention the poor flight attendant who had to smile and bear your wrath. I was so impressed with how well she managed to stay calm and not slap you for the things you said. What did she do to deserve all the hateful words you said to her country?

Also, you spoke English. I’m going to assume most of the Chinese people understood what you said even though I can never tell with them. Either way, you could have at least had the decency to speak their language to berate them.

Plus, think about the example you gave your children. Now they think that they can go around yelling and complaining about anything and everything that doesn’t go their way. It just makes me grateful that I have parents that have always been a good example for me.

Finally, to top it off, you had the gall to demand food for your children. Yes, you get a meal on most if not all Chinese flights, but what gives you the right to demand food before the rest of us?

Although I’m not going to set my alarm to blare “move the flipping plane” on repeat, I’m thankful for the lesson you taught me. I hope that one day you will also be able to find the same appreciation for the little things as I did from you.


Lucy Swett

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Lucy Swett

<p>Hi all! My name is Lucy Swett, and I am a sophomore at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chinese. I was adopted from Hubei China, when I was one year old, raised in the United States, and now I am excited to go back for the first time! I hope you join me in my adventure!</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
Lehigh University
Computer Science
Explore Blogs