Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Airplane Woes and Wisdom

Two friends of mine who met in an airplane got married the other day. They sat next to each other on their flight home and over one and a half hours of bad turbulence, crappy airplane food and cramped seats, they fell in love…

They found love in an airplane. All I ever find is a dead cockroach inside the inflight magazines. From the moment I sit down in aircraft, I have all my fingers and toes crossed as I silently will the universe to replicate in my life, any cute airplane scene from any cute romcom. Everytime I spot someone who wouldn’t fit the role of my version of Harry Burns (When Harry met Sally) or Luc Tessiyer (French Kiss) or Karan Kapoor (Hum Tum) or Jack Harper (from the book Can You Keep a Secret) walking towards the seat next to mine, I send them telepathic messages.

"Do Not Sit here, Do Not Stop Walking, Do Not Stop, Do Not Slam Your Stupid Luggage Against my Feet. Do Not Sit Down. Do Not....oh screw it!

Here is a list of people who almost always sit next to me in an airplane:

Weird men with terrible breath, weird men who can’t keep their hands to themselves, uncles who treat the flight like an open bar, mommies with super cranky babies, kids who think its funny to spill their stupid drink on my bag, people with ultra tiny bladders who makes me get up for the nth time so that they can go to the bathroom, people who don't make me get up to go to the bathroom so that they can trample on my toes or make me stare at their bum as they squirm past me, terrified first-timers who poke you everytime they need help to take off or put on their seatbelts, and people who thinks I enjoy spending my travel time filling forms, not just theirs but their whole damn family’s. Ahh, the joy!

And what’s the deal with airhostesses? I mean I have nothing against them, but aren’t they a little overrated? I have only travelled with two different airlines and all the airhostesses on those planes never fails to remind me of every Hindi teacher I’ve had in school. I don’t know if it’s the saree or the bun or the too-bright lipstick. And they never like me! Neither can they ever hear me.  Just like my Hindi teachers!
Once when asked if I prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian food, my reply was a little too feeble. I have a pretty low voice. And while flying, my ears almost always gets clogged and I speak extra low because I’m not sure if I’m being too loud and I don’t wanna seem like an idiot. And the airhostess lady got all mad at me. “Speak a little louder child, Open your mouth and speak loudly. I can’t hear anything.”
Exaaaactly like my Hindi teachers. And everyone around me looked up and stared. It made my chin quiver a little. :-( 

Another time when I was a little kid, I saw a boy a couple of seats away play with this cool toy. They used to give away tiny free toys back then.(Not sure if they still do) So I went up to the airhostess and asked her for my toy. She smiled and nodded and gave me a blanket.
A blanket.
Which FYI, I didn’t even get to keep.

The thing I like the most about flights is that I can catch up on my reading without any interruptions, unless you’re sitting next to a talker. In which case, you can just plug in your earphones and pretend to sleep. I can’t sleep on a plane. I’ve tried but everytime I get even close to falling asleep, the person behind me needs to get up so they yank my seat back with all the strength they can muster to pull themselves up. Sometimes they manage to pull out a coupla strands of my hair in the process.
People who’s never travelled by air seem to think its always a big deal. I remember one of my little cousins ask me if I’d met God up there on the way to India. When the truth is, some of the flights that I’ve been on has been no better than the public buses here in India. Firstly the turbulence, the shaking and bumping is almost like travelling on a pothole-filled road during monsoon.This one time, it shook so bad, someone's luggage fell on my head. And I did the whole "ha-ha now wasn't that funny, it fell on my head, ha-ha. I don't care really, I'm too cool to care" as i held back my urge to shove the stupid bag and its owner out through the emergency exit.

Secondly, don’t evvvvvver sit next to the bathroom if you can help it, unless you have a blocked nose. Its like the minute the seat-belt sign is off, people queue up outside the bathroom, until its time to sit down again.
Some people just don’t seem to understand the seatbelt on sign. Or the no talking on your cellphone rule. I’m too scared to even switch on my phone long enough to put it on flight mode in case I cause the plane to blow up or something.
And as soon as the plane hits the ground, its absolute chaos! People start talking on their phones in the top of their voices. And people who are nowhere close to the door starts standing up and pulling out their luggage in such a hurry, you’d half expect them to open a secret door somewhere and jump out of the craft. But no, but they take their stuff and hurry out to the front, when the door isn’t even open and give everyone a “ha-ha-I’m-first” look of triumph. Dude… you’re lame.

 Well, thats it about airplanes. I haven't been on one for quite sometime. When I do, I'll let you guys know if its gotten any better. Until there, fly safe!


Ash said...

Lovely :D really well written!! And all true!!

~Ms. A~ said...

Thank you, ash :) keeep readin!

Princess Poo said...

Surprise Surprise :D :).

Indolent Insomniac said...

hahaha...this was fun!!
The airhostess' being a bit annoying maybe cos you are a girl. For me every single time has been a pleasure. This one time I even got a free cadbury, just because!! ;)

And the book reading is just an excuse for you to look all important, switching on the overhead lights and reading... ;)

Anyways...a powerful comeback!! And you know.. it wouldn't kill you to keep an email subscription widget...

~Ms. A~ said...

@poo - awww my 2nd award. frm you. thank you! :D and do keep reading.
@II- merci, monsieur! ok the airhostess thing was annoying cos im a girl?? guys like being scolded by aunty-hostesses? And books i read in the airport to look important, airplanes i read cos i seriously cant sleep. and i hate the overhead light. its like a spotlight i feel everyone is staring at me.
and email thing ya, too much hassle. i send u telephathic msgs though each time i update blog.

Indolent Insomniac said...

that's the point...they don't scold me!! ;) they kinda pamper me!! :D

And well, then maybe the overhead light is just me... :/ ;)

And telepathic msgs wont reach me until too late!! ;) All you have to do is drag and drop!! please!!! ;) :D

Anonymous said...

Nice post, a very good read for a boring day. Enjoyed it and smiled for the first time today. Thanks