Whenever I’m at an airport or on an aeroplane, there are a few things that always seem to cross my mind.
Being sleep-deprived thanks to a mere 4 hours of shut-eye the night before this flight (and almost never being able to sleep properly on flights), I can’t manage any reasonably eloquent thoughts, so I thought I’d jot down some of the rubbish that always goes through my head at airports.
Be nice to the border security people.
This may seem a lot more straightforward than you’d think. I mean, these people have the right to essentially violate you. But after one too many episodes of Border Security (one) and various other stories, I have formed the (possible) preconception that all border guards are just racist, and I have a hard time smiling at them. Normally I can just pass it off as jetlag though.
Nothing original here, right? WRONG. My guilty confession: I actually love the stuff. I always get this little tingle of excitement when plane food starts rolling around. I usually don’t eat red meat (sort of), which almost always narrows my choices to some dirty chicken dish, but hell, who cares.
And my anger when I get onto a plane and find out that I’m supposed to pay for food endangers those around me. Bloody Ryanair.
DON’T LOOK AT THAT SCREEN!
I always feel so suspiciously rude when I get caught peeking at whatever my neighbour on the flight is watching. I’m traditionally (minus 3 points for far too grandiose a word) a fidgety movie watcher. As a kid, whenever there were movies on the good channels (Seven, Nine and Ten for you Melbournians), I’d always be trying to watch 2 or 3 at a time. It’s the same on planes. I can’t just sit there and watch Henry Cavill snapping necks, I have to flick over and check out whether Tim Roth has shot Michael Madsen yet.
But whenever the person next door sees me having a shufti, I feel guilty. Don’t read over people’s shoulders, Sam. Naughty.
Do I take the travelator?
I’ll just go with stream of consciousness on this one.
Oh man, a travelator! I’ll jump on! But that lady looks really slow, I don’t want to get stuck behind her. But I could move past! What if she doesn’t speak English, this IS an airport. Dammit, it’s getting close. I could walk alongside, I suppose, it’d be good exercise and I could show these people up by walking faster than they’re travellating. Wait, is that a verb? Who cares! It’s almost here! Maybe this bag is gonna rattle the whole way and annoy everyone? I don’t care, I’ll never see them again. C’mon, how often do you take a travelator? Oh, fine, let’s do this. WOAH, almost hit someone swerving randomly. Too late now, I’ve gone past it.
She’s afraid of flying.
If I’m sitting next to a woman (equality check: it does happen with men, but the vast majority of the time I’ve encountered this situation, a woman is involved) who is afraid of flying, I never know whether saying something is going to comfort her or not. I want to comfort her, because both my mother and one of my best friends are afraid of flying, and that sort of fear ain’t fun. I’ve obviously got no problem holding my mum’s hand while she’s panicking, but how do you tell a total stranger that the plane you’re on is most certainly not going to crash?
I once tried to reassure a 20-something Australian girl that even if the plane DID crash, the safety procedures were adequate to ensure her survival (I know this isn’t true, but she was really quite scared). This did NOT help, surprise surprise, and she didn’t talk to me for the rest of the flight.
Confessions over. Feel free to comment below with any weird thing that go through your head on flights. Let me know I’m not the only one. Let me know I’m sane. PLEASE.
The pilot just asked me if I wanted to eat some ‘serious cereal’, so I might just be slipping into madness earlier than anticipated.