I'd Rather Have Wings
I find I have three settings when I travel.
I’m trapped in this flying metal cylinder just like you - please don’t talk to me
Okay, I’ve been ignoring you for twelve hours and we’re almost there, so I’ll engage in your small talk to remind myself what it’s like to talk to people again
Yeah. I’m not exactly a chatty Cathy when I fly, though I have made the odd exception to reasonable, like minded souls. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism. When all the introverts and anti-social people gather together we know none of us have to speak to one another and we’re happy about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be a bitch to you on a plane, least of all if we’re about to commence an arduous twelve and a half hour flight in which we pretend the food is good and we’re not all secretly wondering where the black box is. FYI, at one point in my last journey (I think it was on my way ‘back’ to Canada) a woman was complaining about being in the back of the plane. I helpfully pointed out that a lot of crashes happen nose first, and the black box is actually in the rear of the plane. Y’know, where it’s likely to survive impact.
Guess how impressed she was with my commentary.
Anywho, let me give you the gist of my recent sky high adventures. I’m originally from the Land Down Under, and after 2.5 years and finally securing myself permanent residence in Mooseland (aka Canada, home of Ryan I-Burst-Your-Ovaries Reynolds) I was able to book a flight back to Oz. I wanted to visit family, and let me be clear here, only my love of my family would have me endure over 20+ hours of air travel.
To Get There:
Toronto to San Fran (5 hours)
Layover San Fran (8 hours)
San Fran to Auckland (12.5 hours)
Layover Auckland (3 hours)
Auckland to Brisbane (3 hours)
And then getting home? Reverse it. Only a slightly shorter stop over in San Fran. At that point, every hour counts right?
Let’s not even start on customs. Holy shitbricks. I was positive at some point pieces of my soul were leaving me as I waited in line for yet another smile-less individual to assess my passport. Which, for those of you who have never (and will never) see it, makes me look like a serial killer.
I was also randomly drug tested in almost every airport. By the last one, I exhaustedly pointed out that if I ‘had’ drugs, I’d have taken them by now just to put up with their snooping and the billion flights I was on. They weren’t particularly amused by my tired mockery.
To be fair, it wasn’t some of my best mockery. I admit that.
What I am curious about is what other people do to entertain themselves while flying. The plane provides in flight movies and TV shows (12 Strong, Black Panther, Jumanji and Coco, if you were wondering what I watched) but after a while I just… get over watching a screen. I could read, sure, but in my travel efficient zeal I download books instead of taking paperbacks (not to worry, I still own the paperbacks in one country or another), which is another screen. The flaw in my plan.
I tried a new game: how many people on this plane would I join the mile high club with?
The actual joke is the likelihood of me getting laid.
I also tried the sleep thing. On an overnight 12.5 hour flight, sleep seemed like a great idea. I even thought I was being clever by putting myself on the aisle seat - bathroom breaks whenever I wanted without having to climb and crawl over other people! Yay!
Normally a group of people I have enduring respect for, but after having all of them body check me every time they went by I was ready to vacuflush myself. Grazing the edge of sleep only to have a shapely young woman smack her hip into me as she goes by actually bypasses several levels on my cranky scale and jackknifes me right to sleep-deprived-pissed. It’s one level above listening to someone chew with their mouth open.
Then there was the passenger that, in the middle of the flight and the night, decided he wanted to get up and get his macbook out of the overhead. Said macbook slid out of its lovely little bag and dropped straight onto my left shoulder. Swear? Oh boy. I’m surprised half the plane didn’t wake up to my exclamation of 'FUCK, OW’. I also have this pretty little bruise to remember him by. Douchecanoe didn’t even apologise, instead giving ‘me’ the curt look for swearing and sitting back down.
Murder on the Orient Express? I’m baffled there aren’t more murders 30,000 feet up. I’d have settled for snakes on that plane if it meant one bit his ass.
Ugh. Anyway, the plus side was I made it to Australia without murdering anyone, and I did have a wonderful time back home for a few weeks. But this wasn’t about the time at home, it was about the time it took to get there.
I know there are more flights in my future (I want to go back to Oz within the next 18 months), so now I’m reconsidering what to do on these flights, what to take and what drugs I should actually take to endure it all.