I used to love flying, but two boring flights seven years ago got me here.
Now I don’t want to be told that we’ll be flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet. I just want to take-off and land, spare me the in-betweens please.
It all begins with the bookings. Your wallet agrees with the ‘no-frills’ airline. But once on the flight, your stomach makes you take out the aforementioned wallet to pay for the unexciting sandwich and juice on offer.
Earlier, you could’ve killed for a window seat. Now the airline woman gives you an aisle seat (“because all window seats are booked Ma’am”), and you don’t so much as bat an eyelid.
Then they make you sit in the plane for a good half hour while the pilot informs you “We’re third in line for take-off”. Really? We’re actually going to take-off today?
Unbelievably, the plane is off the ground and the rigmarole begins.
Cabin crew explaining safety instructions used to be funny. Now you watch them for minor fear that the one time you don’t will be the one time you wish you had.
And you also happen to spot the man who will not switch off his cellphone (as instructed during flight). You do manage to shoot him the “We’re all going to die because of you” look.
Call it paranoia or just blame it on National Geographic. When you’ve seen their series on airline disasters (one time too many), any unexplained sight, sound or smell will get you saying “Death, I am ready for you.”
And as it turns out, you happen to be travelling alone. Make no mistake. You will end up sitting next to the person you rejected as part of the ‘most-wanted person on adjoining seat’ survey that you conducted in the waiting lounge. So much for meeting a stranger on the plane, leading to delightful conversation, leading to lifelong friendship.
Clearly, life is not a film.
In many ways, it’s so much better.
Like temporary respite in the form of dashing flight steward with interesting name. It’s Persian he tells you. Delightful.
Or when the sunlight streams in during the flight and you feel like Icarus, only not that stupid.
And happiness knows no bounds when the pilot announces that in 45 minutes we will reach our destination. So that’s five Pink Floyd songs and we’ll be there!
Finally the plane lands. Everyone is alive. You thank the lord up above and the air hostess at the door.
Walking towards the airport exit you spot your personal pick-up and you smile.
That smile right there is what it’s all about. That is the only thing that says “Hey, cruising at 35,000 feet (and the before and after) was not so bad.” Until next time of course.