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Sunday, November 6, 2011

The fix called... Traveling!

When you travel, you open yourself to a world where it is best just to sit back, accept that you are no more in control of your destiny and enjoy the show.

Of cause I am talking about the airplane part of traveling. When we, my wife, son and I, travel by plane, we like to discuss people and their entire funny human trades that make us all special in our own different ways.

It all starts when you arrive at the airport.
At check-in there are always the person that wants to negotiate for a better seat, stating all kind of “facts” why he should get a better seat, normally they all want the one at the emergency exit.

There are the family who have too much luggage and open a bag to try and squeeze another something into the bag. This normally ends with all the clothing lying next to the bag on the floor and then it cannot go back-in the way it was. Underwear seems to have a mind of their own here because they just refuse to stay hidden, they pop out every-were!

Then you move on to the security-check. Here, you will always find the one person in front of you who just can't seems to go through the metal detector without it going off like some prisoner made a breakout. First he looks surprised that HE triggered it, then, at his third or fourth attempt and still taking money pieces, keys and other small items from his pocket, the look turns from shyness to annoyance and finally anger. He later is stripped of his belt, shoes and jackets. After you went through without a problem you find this man sitting, sometimes on the floor, muttering to himself on how he could be so stupid not to clear his pockets in the first place!

Come boarding time at the gate, a whole new bunch of clowns step in-to the spotlight off cause. There are always the ones jumping up and almost running to the front of the queue, just to be told parents with kids and First class are allowed to board first. They turn around a bit disgusted with themselves and the airline rep.
The please-look-at-me-I’m-first-class, gets up, slowly, ‘cause that’s cool, and stroll to the front of the line where he produces his boarding pass with such finesse I always look around to see where's the paparazzi that is filming this important chap. 
I like to stay out of the plane as long as possible, - you are just going to sit and wait some more, whether you are in first or last.

Once inside note the following. The one bringing in the larger than life bag, case or some odd-shaped object that they just have to force into the overhead storing space.- I wait for the day when a head of a body falls from this bag and rolls down the aisle. It would be funny,- hope i have my camera ready...
Normally this is an elderly lady, a short person or a huge man that needs help and then, finally squeezing the article in, sit-down with a ‘thump!’ and gasping for air.

There are inevitably the one that are late. Everyone is just waiting for this person. Where he was, he only knows. Normally he will have a large plastic bag filled to the brim with all kind of stuff from the Duty-Free shop. He arrives under the angry stares and shaking of heads from the other passengers, completely unaware of the lateness or delay he is responsible for on the departure time.

Once everyone is strapped-in, time to get the tube in the air!
Blast-off normally continues without any incidents from the passengers, but as soon as that seat-belt sign is turned OFF, there are a mad scramble for the rest rooms. Its almost as if the G-force of take-off have pushed all fluids to the exit points of the passengers!

When you are doing a long flight to another continent your show will continue to the point of annoyance. Inevitably you will find the following persons sitting close to you, -

The lady with the baby that screams non stop until she realises at long last the infant is just hungry and after feeding time, sleeps like its dead until a humongous smell hits EVERYONE between the eyes in the vicinity! 
And like it goes with babies, they cry again until they are cleaned and fed. The whole cycle starts again.

There is an elderly/obese/child/person behind you that can't seems to move without pulling on your chair, causing it to shake like a Japanese earthquake! You wonder why all this happen just as you are falling asleep or getting into the interesting part of your book/movie?

You wake up during the night after finally falling asleep and see that a person close to you have let their reading light on,while fast asleep, and that the thing is beaming a signal to who knows who, like a SOS to Mars!
Not far from that, a person is snoring so loudly that you know you are not going to sleep again due to that!

Another passenger can’t sleep and is telling the stranger next to him, in great detail, all about a gross sickness or experience he had back in 1984! Off cause he is talking slightly louder than normal due to the three bottles of red wine that he had with dinner.

Another passenger can’t sleep and is standing in the only space in front of the toilets doing stretches like he is on the Jane Fonda show. 
You are about to think how long can this madness continue when the lights are turned on and people with the weirdest hairstyles start to wake-up and stretch. 
From this moment a mad scramble starts in the aircraft as people start to run for a loo, the air hostesses try to serve break-fast and pack away all the blankets, pillows, ear-phones and help the sod to get his tooth-brush out of the oversize bag that was forced into the overhead storage space the previous night! 
Off cause it is at the bottom of the bag and now he can’t close the zipper again to pack the bag away. He finally gives up and just squeezes the bag back into the space with those annoying underwear popping out again!
When everyone is ready and strapped-in for the landing, one sleepy person wakes-up and start to stretch and goes to the toilet, blissfully unaware that they miss the entire breakfast and we are about to land!

As soon as the plane touched-down there are the ones unbuckling themselves and starts to gather their belongings as if they will be the first ones out at the next stop.
Not so fast Poncho Via! Wait until we are completely at a standstill! The air-host warns. Irritated they sit down grumbling.

When the plane finally comes to a complete standstill the scramble starts all over again. People stand in the aisles and refuse to give fellow passengers space to gather their belongings.

Now everyone gets out of the plane and some start to run with bags over each shoulder and I wonder were they packed all that hand luggage?
As they pass you a triumphant look are on their faces as if to saying they won, they are away first!

These same guys are now so disappointed when we slowly arrive at the luggage carrousel, with a trolley, to pick-up our luggage. They too are waiting for their luggage.
They get even more heated under the collar when our bags are the first to be spit out and after picking it up, we can walk towards the next line, which are customs...

The same i-am-so-in-a-hurry person catch up again. This time behind you, which makes him even more furious. As you go to the next customs counter you notice how this poor chap is now searching for his passport in all the pockets of his jacket, trousers and bags. By the time he finds it, all the customs counters are open and the custom officials start to tap the desktop impatiently. You leave the hall and head to the exit... a smile starts to form on your face.

And so the traveling battle continues until finally you are out of the airport and breathing in fresh air not shared with 300 other fellow passengers in a compressed tube! 
The promise of a new world with so many images to make invite you in! You cannot wait!

You walk away from the airport thinking you survived another one, you can talk and laugh about it! You say to yourself, like the hangover man the next day, - Never, never again! But in your heart you know, travelling gets into your blood and you need it like a fix to a junkie.

So, until we meet again, in a compressed air tube over an ocean, my fellow travellers, farewell and look-out for me and my family because next time it may be me who annoy you!


1 comment:

  1. Pancho Villa?
    Nice story,thanks.