Continued Thoughts on a Plane

The first time around, I offered helpful suggestions. Now, I offer blithely sarcastic frustrations, vignettes, and silly musings.

  1. I don’t understand the celebrities who recommend drinking lots of water and falling asleep during flights. I can’t fall asleep on planes (except for a drooly five minutes that ends when my chin bangs against my collar bone), and when free booze is offered, I take it. Does it dehydrate me? Probably (definitely), but then, when else are you going to be tipsy inside a cloud?!
  2. Speaking of beverages, why do the stewards come back to collect your cup after you’ve taken approximately two sips? Yesterday, I saw several passengers downing coffees and cokes before the stewards reached them with their garbage bags. They’re like a reverse Santa Clause who comes around once a sip, sack proffered, to make sure you know they really want your cup. News Flash Stewards: I know you want to return to your other duties, but what’s the point of offering me a free glass of red wine if I can’t enjoy it while watching 50 Shades of Grey?
  3. When you first board the plane, try as hard as you can to keep your person restricted to the 24 inches of carpet between the seats. Your bag should be behind you or in front of you, or else someone will get wacked. I don’t like getting wacked!
  4. Don’t be too smelly. There are lots of ways to do this, and I don’t feel I have enough authority to expound on personal hygiene, but one thing is certain: planes should never put asparagus on the menu.

    Pissoir Copenhagen

    “Excuse me while I use the pissoir” sounds so much nicer than “I need to take a piss”, doesn’t it?

  5. Don’t be too smelly. Though you may want to spruce up a bit pre-flight, that’s no excuse to smell like you showered in Chanel N°5. Marilyn may have slept in nothing else, but it’s better to present yourself clothed and unspritzed (or lightly spritzed, of which I am chicly guilty).
  6. Budget airlines are worth it IF AND WHEN you know what you’re getting into. Hidden fees, holier-than-thou employees, and airports hours from the city you were actually trying to reach help Ryanair keep its prices low. And though I’ve professed lifetime loathing for the company that advertises fares as low as £1, I admit that if you know all the details, their prices can be unbeatable. But if the price seems ridiculous, than the amenities offered probably will be too.

    Tower Copenhagen

    Church of Our Saviour, Christianshavn, Copenhagen

  7. Flying for the very young, old, and disabled is not always an easy, exciting experience. On my most recent flight, the woman that sat behind me was helped onto the plane by attendants pushing a wheelchair built for airplanes’ two foot aisles.
    A bit later, she asked for a plastic bag that had been underneath the wheelchair. The plastic bag, along with the wheelchair, had been taken away by the attendants, and could not be retrieved. It contained her diapers. The Swedish guys sitting next to me helped the woman translate her needs to the stewards, making jokes to lighten the mood (she was laughing too).
    I couldn’t help but think how simple getting up for the bathroom seems when you aren’t disabled or hampered by any health issues. One day, I will probably wear diapers. And I hope no one whisks them away before I need to use them. Because, really, there should be no shame in how you pee on a plane!
  8. Why do Europeans clap when the plane lands? Are they not expecting it?
  9. Before flying, you should be in tip-top form.
    As I was walking around Copenhagen, trying to “see everything” in four hours, my left foot began to drag and my limp grew more pronounced. My foot deepened to a putrid shade of zombie and felt like a bee-stung lip. I kept walking.
    At the airport, not distracted by the colors and pastries of Copenhagen, I acknowledged and cursed the pain. Then, from my left, I heard a sexy voice begging me to “put it down on” him. I followed Adam Levine’s crooning to a men’s clothing store, which I managed to stay in by telling the salesclerk I was shopping for my boyfriend. Luckily, my imaginary fella wears slim fit, because that’s all the store carried.
    Refreshed after Adam’s “lovin’”, I proceeded to my gate. There’s nothing like “Sugar” to dispel your worries and pain…which brings me back to my original point: be in tip-top form before flying. Don’t dance “so hard” at your farewell party, attempting to do things everyone knows you can’t (i.e. splits). I guess I’m saying that you should be responsible.* It just might save your foot.

    Marble Church Copenhagen

    A View of the Marble Church from Amalienborg Palace

  10. How do airplanes stay up? (Seriously, beyond the fuel, how? Thanks to Arthur Weasley for this one 😉

What have you always wanted to know about flying? Any remarkable stories from up in the air that made you question humanity, or praise it? And what bothers you the most about flying? What could your fellow passengers do to make the flight suck less?

By the Numbers

You cannot summarize a journey in lists and numbers, but I tried to anyway.

Items I Lost or Threw Away

  • Pair of wooly black socks (one was lost in the laundry, so I gave up the other in defeat)
  • Sunglass case (thrown away in frustration of uselessness…to be continued)
  • Eyelash curler (replaced by a far superior one)
  • Scissors (taken by security)
  • Used pens
  • Glasses (failed to retrieve them from the hostel where I KNOW they are)
  • Umbrella (you shouldn’t put anything you like on the outside of your backpack)
  • Light (it broke)

Items My Backpack Broke

  • My umbrella flashlight (I later lost this umbrella…guess that makes sense)
  • My light (which is why I threw it away…seriously, where can I find a light that won’t lose its battery on a trip because of a button that turned on inside my backpack??)
  • Clarisonic (buttons are dumb)
  • Sunglasses (bent because I threw away my sunglasses case…I’m sensing a pattern here)
  • Watch necklace (is now a pocket watch because the chain broke)

Transportation by Type

Vespa Toledo

I haven’t used this mode of transport…YET!

  • Train Trips: 12
  • Bus Trips: 11
  • Car sharing Trips: 3
  • Flights: 14
  • Taxis: very few, which is more than I should have…except in SE Asia
  • Local Metro/Bus/Boat/Tram/Whatever: many, and I’m not done
  • Tuk-Tuk Trips: not enough, never enough
  • Elephant: 1, I sat on its head, not on a platform
  • Zip-line: 1 course
  • Stranger’s Car: 1, but more to come

Books I Read

  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • The Master and Margarita
  • Anna Karenina (finished after trip ended)

Journals Used: 2 ½

Countries Visited: 11, 7 for the first time

To be continued in 2015…