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Smoking Gun

I am not sure how I got onto a series of posting about what happens on the plane. But this one was too good not to share.

The safety instructions become very monotonous after a few hundred flights, but we all know that smoking is not allowed on the plane. For that matter, smoking is pretty much banned in any public establishment in the world. Dirk mentioned that everyone knows not to smoke on a plane, why do they keep telling us. Then you land in Ireland and the Garda gets on the plane.

The usual announcement is made upon landing. ‘Please stay seated until the captain has switched off the seat belt sign.’ And as usually, several people completely ignore her and stand, grabbing their things out of the overhead bin. This time she is not polite about it, her face is pissed, her voice is louder, she tells everyone to sit back down.

With a less then pleasant looks on their faces they sit down, one man lingers with a look of ‘fuck you’ on his face. That looks stops when the Garda enter the plane and walk right to the back. An interesting looking gentleman is asked to stand then lead off the back of the plane.

Dirk and I have no idea what he did or what is happening. When we get to the luggage carousel, and are standing our appropriate distance away, we mention it to Dirk’s dad. He was surprised we didn’t know what was happening and filled us in.

This guy decides he needed a smoke. His first smoke with in the bathroom at the rear of the plane. The alarms were ringing and staff were trying to get the man out of the toilet. Once out he was told to return to his seat. The crew then pulls the curtain closed to do something that no one can see. He takes this as the opportunity to go to the front toilet. Again, more alarms and the crew is up there trying to get him out, it takes awhile. He is escorted back to his seat, but this time a ‘man’ (a.k.a. air marshall) comes over and sits beside him the rest of the flight until the Garda arrive.

Looks like they take that no smoking rule seriously.”

Plane Bad Habits

I am pretty sure there are a few things about flying that drives everyone crazy.  While traveling with Dirk’s dad and wife, she mentioned that she couldn’t understand why people stand in the aisle, blocking everyone, as they riffle their bag looking for their book, folding their coat, and just overly having no common sense to move the hell out of the way.  Can they not see us all lined up? Are they not listening to the crew telling them to step out of the aisle an let everyone pass?

Then there are the seat pullers. These are the one that get me going. You know the ones, they can’t get in or out of their seats with say, the use of their legs, but need to pull the shit out of the seat in front of them. They give deep long forceful tugs on your seat either startling you awake, pulling your hair, or spilling your drink. Then when they return, it is the same thing, again the inability to sit using their legs and a few core muscles – just yank on that chair and piss the person off in front of you – good plan.

Traveling families. Don’t get me wrong, I understand you are also on vacation and at times traveling with your children leaves you wanting to shove them into the overhead compartment. Its the kids that kick my seat and are not told to stop. These are the parents that I want to smack up the back of the head and just yell. “”Really? Am I the one that has to turn around and tell your kid to stop?”” Because if you know me at all, I will and I have.

What about the sprinters? Why do you need to stand before the seatbelt sign is off, grab your bag and bolt to the front of the plane? Where do you thinking you are actually going? And ramming your bag into my heals to hurry up my standing still is not cool. Look around at the other 95% of us that are just standing, patiently, waiting for our rows turn to exit.

Finally, the dreaded baggage carousel. Did you know that some countries are now painting lines around the carousel about 1 meter away?  Do you know why? This is to indicated you should not stand within 1 meter of the carousel, nor should you have a baggage cart shoved up right against it as well. Do you see us standing back? No, that is not for you to walk in front of us standing at a respectable distance from the carousel, that’s just rude. It is easier to stand back and allow each other to step forward and grab our bags. Having to wrestle the bag off the carousel is already a challenge, but adding you as another obstacle just pisses us off. Stand the hell back.

Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

I am Late, I am Late……..

Over the last year, Dirk and I have had a few very close calls getting to the airport just in time to board the plane. You would think that travelling for the year, this would not occur since it is the only item on our agenda.

The night before we left Malaysia, I checked the time to get to the airport. It was 27 minutes. Quick calculation: time to airport plus extra time for traffic plus time to have breakfast at the airport equals time to be in car. This formula will fail you every time if you don’t factor in the time for traffic properly. This is also the part of the calculation that is the most tricky, as you have no clue about traffic in any foreign city. So, while sitting in a grid lock of traffic, I express my concern to Dirk as the Uber monitor tells us we will arrive to the airport 15 minutes before we are to take off. This is not good at all. We mention this to the driver, who then tries his best to get us there, but there is really nothing he can do. By some miracle we arrive, run directly to security without checking the bags, after a few moments of grabbing items out of Dirks bag (knife, scissors), we dash to gate. A brief lecture about our late arrival, we are seated an on our way to Cambodia.

This was a lesson to remember, but why does it happen again? Why can’t we get the ‘consider traffic’ part of the formula correct?

In Bangkok we decided to head to the airport 3 hours before the flight. Plenty of time to relax for a bite to eat prior to boarding. Again, sitting in traffic, we look at each other and explain to the Uber driver about the flight. His solution was more exciting and would rival the best leg of any Amazing Race. We jumped out of the car, jumped on two scooters and had the drivers take us to the train. Weaving in and out of traffic, no helmets, while trying not to flip backwards off the bikes. Three trains later, we arrive at the airport with no time to spare. But, we can’t find our checkin desk. Both of us are asking anyone that would listen, but there are no signs. Finally, some lady standing at a unsigned desk asks Dirk if this is our names on boarding passes. Yes, another miracle, they are waiting for us. They give us express passes through customs and security. Again, no time to eat, just right to the gate.

As we stand at the gate sweating, I think to myself, why can these two fairly smart individuals figure this shit out!!