Have Luggage, Will Travel …. Or ….. I’m Getting On A Plane And Left My Brain At Home (Part Three)


On the plane part 3

I survived “The Security Check”  – just barely.

I’ve waded my way through the enticing duty-free shops, having only bought a handful of items I would never normally buy on the streets on a  normal day.

I know I’m not the only one.
You do it too. Buying. Lots. Always.

Anyhoo.

There are a number of interesting moments to consider in a flight.
Particularly a long-haul.

Boarding.
I’m that person.
You know the one.
I get to my boarding gate in time.
I queue.
Yes I know we’ll all get in the plane eventually.
But I like to get in first.
You know.
Check the layout of the land out.
Proximity to the loos.
Comfort of the seat.
You know. Important things! Meaningful things.
You know they are.
Yes you do.

Moving on ….
Important things like …. make sure my bag has a spot in the overhead lockers.

Which brings me to the next it for discussion:

The Overhead Locker.
Is it just me or is that like a fight to death.
It’s another reason I like to board as soon as I can.
Space for my hand luggage.
Because I’m a woman and that’s what we do.
Carry a ton of stuff that we’re not going to use/eat/read in the flight but have to have it anyway.
I’ve actually been on a plane when there’s been a standoff between a passenger with a small handbag taking up a lot of space in the overhead lockers versus a man who boarded last.
The kind of last where your name is being called over the intercom! And then he rushes on, demanding a space for his stretching-size-limits-to-the-max bag, and argues with the snarky woman with the small handbag who refuses to put it under her seat.
What do I care? I got on first and am comfortably settled into my first movie already 🙂

So now I’m settled.
Know where the loos are.
My bag is safe in the overhead locker.

I’m acting like the smug passenger who travels all the time and knows exactly what to do.
You know the kind.
The kind that pretends to not watch the safety film because they travel so much but actually are watching from the corner of their eye — just in case they’re called upon to be a hero.

I’m talking to you!
Yes.
YOU!
And me.

But then.

The wait for “your neighbour” begins.
Now I KNOW I’m not alone here.
You know what I’m talking about.
Desperately looking around willing anyone who’s about to sit next to you to “keep on walking”

I’m the kind of passenger that likes to plug my earphones in, listen to music, watch a movie, do a crossword, and try get a little shuteye.
Peace.

NOT!

I’ve had a very random set of neighbours. I’ll list a few for your reading pleasure …..

> There was the drunk Dutch man on a flight from South Africa to London, who drank so much and burped so much I eventually had to sit in the air stewards jump seats for the entire flight as there were no other empty seats.

> There was the Swedish guy who told me about all his sexual conquests with much gusto despite my asking him to stop numerous times.

> There was the weird Aussie-British guy who would say absolutely nothing until I put my earphones in, then he’d tap me on the shoulder, wait for me to take my earphones out, then ask for a movie recommendation. Which I gave to him, but then he continued to tap me on the shoulder the whole way through the movie and give commentary. I got my revenge on him though — I waited until he was in a deep, snoring sleep, tapped him in the shoulder numerous times (a bit like Sheldon on Peggy’s door in Big Bang theory LINK HERE) and asked him to move so I could pee.
He wasn’t impressed.
I didn’t care.
I even did it once more just to make sure I got full revenge (evil laugh).

The list goes on.

The space.
If you’re travelling in cattle class – aka economy – I don’t care how much they say it’s comfortable, no one likes to feel like a sardine. There’s no getting around it unless you lucky enough to fly in an upgraded cabin.

Meals.
I mean.
Really.
What can I say about this. It’s aeroplane food. As long as you don’t expect a gourmet meal, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Unless of course you had the delicious, restaurant-worthy beef fillet with roast potatoes and carrots I had in a recent long-haul flight. NOM NOM NOM

Drinks.
Referring to the random neighbours I’ve had, have a drink, I don’t care. But don’t be slobbering all over the place, messing your red wine on me (that happened), or your whisky (love arriving at a destination smelling like someone else’s brewery – always fun to get the customs officials to raise their eyes in judgment at you.

Toilets.
Now, call me old-fashioned but Mile-high-club. Really? I can barely fit my wide-screen butt in there. Two people in there?! Um. No.

And that’s the journey.
The whole thing.
In a nutshell.

…….
……

Oh no! I forgot.
There’s still the baggage claim.

Where you wait for your bag. Am I the only person who’s bags tend to always be amongst the last few that arrive?

I break out into sweats. It’s not so bad coming home, because if the bag doesn’t arrive, I’ve still got a cupboard-full of clothes.

if the bag doesn’t arrive when I’m on an outward journey, especially on a business trip, that’s more worrisome and annoying…because I do have to go buy new clothes if mine don’t arrive in time.

Well – there’s your Up-Side:

New Clothes.

Have Luggage, Will Travel …. Or ….. I’m Getting On A Plane And Left My Brain At Home (Part Two)


Airport blog part two

The Security Check

Feeling liberated having survived “The Check-in Counters“, I pick up my hand luggage – which is stretching the weight limit to the max  (do I really need that many magazines and crossword books for a 4-hour flight?) and drag my already weary butt to the security check area.

Having carefully placed all my acceptable-limit liquids in a travel-approved see-through bag, I confidently march past all the not-so-forward-thinking-and-unprepared passengers who are emptying their bags of all liquids.

Now, I don’t know if it’s just me but even if you don’t travel often, don’t you check things like baggage allowance, things allowed in your hand-luggage, travel documents needed??

No?
Just me then.

Ok, I’ll move on … For now…but I will revisit this. You’re not getting out of it that easy!

So where was I?
Ah..confident marching.

I hand over my passport…confident in the knowledge that I’m not a criminal and therefore don’t need to feel nervous about being caught out.

Not.

Well, I’m not a criminal – but I am nervous.

Is it just me or does the security check have you trying your hardest not to break any sweat (which is difficult when you’re in a place like … Say India … Where it’s …. HOT!

I dare not take out a tissue to dab my brow because obviously that means “criminal alert!”

I’ve seen those shows.
You know the ones I mean.
Where the passenger casually lines their suitcases with all sorts of “not allowed” products from their recent trip to a pick-up-anything-illegal-here country.

I’m not one of those.
I’m way too much of a nervous person in a passport control and security check area to ever even imagine getting away with that.
So I won’t bother.

Digress over.
For now.

So I make it safely past the passport control.
In fact, the border patrol officer barely even looked at me.
I wasted all that energy hiding my sweaty tissues.
I hear you saying “I told you so.”
Hush!

Next stop. The conveyor belt.

Once again. Do travellers not prepare for these things?
No?
Just me?
Again?

I am in the longest queue.
Even though I tried to avoid the bad queues.
You know the ones I mean …. pushchairs, holidaymakers, elderly and stick to the businessmen queue.

Or so I tried.

Because the person-in-uniform decided to close the short queue just as I was about to get there and divert me to the queue that has only one person multi-tasking doing the “take laptops out, jackets off, shoes off, belts off, jewellery off” monologue, pushing through of bags, and then running around to check the security TV, I am now even further back than I was.

I remain calm. I should be used to this by now.
Beside, I’ve got plenty of time. I’m here at the allocate 4 hours early – for those fearful of missing their flight.

Eventually, it’s my turn!

Obviously, I pass through with flying colours.
Being overly prepared as I am — always.

Not!

Stuffed at the bottom of my bag is the half-drunk bottle of water I purchased before I joined the long, long, long check-in queue!

Airports – 1 …… FrinkleFiles – 0

Stay tuned for Part 3 ….. In The Plane!

 

Have Luggage, Will Travel …. Or ….. I’m Getting On A Plane And Left My Brain At Home (Part One)


FullSizeRender (3)

Airports.

I’ll let that sink in for a few moments.

…..
……

I spend a lot of time in airports.
I see a lot of strange things.
Strange people.
Doing strange things.

No, I’m not one of them.
I’m not!

Ok, maybe a little.

But I figured out that people can be completely ‘normal’ functioning human beings until they step into airports and onto a plane.

Particularly three places in an airport and in a plane:
1. The Check-in Counters
2. The Security Check
3. In the plane.

Today, we’ll talk about the first place:
The Check-In Counter

Perhaps it’s because I travel more than most people because of my job, that I’ve come to expect everyone to have the same knowledge as me.

But they don’t.
It’s no excuse.
Really it isn’t.

There is a baggage allowance for ever person and most of us don’t have the luxury of always travelling business or first class so we have the standard 20kgs we’re allowed to take.

Some travellers, such as the one I experienced,  like to take that on as a challenge.

“Let’s see how many things we can get into this suitcase, pretend it’s 20kgs, strap five bag straps around it to keep it closed while we sit on it to squash it down and check it in. What’s the problem!”

Now,  I mean it’s really not my issue and people should do what people are gonna do …… BUT …. It’s pretty darn obvious to me that if your suitcase doesn’t really close, no matter how many of those bag straps you tie around it, it ain’t gonna be within the baggage allowance limit.

But.

Said travellers will still look completely shocked when the check-in assistant says “sorry ma’am your bag is 31kgs” …..(never mind the issue of the no-closing-fully-overloaded bag) …

“Oh dear, are you sure?” They say.
“Yes Ma’am”
“Are you sure your scales are right?” They question.
“Yes Ma’am”
“Can you test my bag on a different scale? I’m sure yours isn’t right.” They try their luck.
“Sure ma’am (said through ‘the customer is always right’ gritted teeth), bring it on over to the next counter”

Traveller pulls said suitcase off scale and, with the help of the extended family who have come to wish her a safe journey, they each take a corner and drag it, huffing and puffing, the clearly 20kgs (!!!) suitcase over to the next counter.

All working together, they count the lift in “1…2…3…LIFT” and put the clearly 20kgs onto the scale at the next counter.

Shock!! Horror!!
31kgs.

“Ma’am, as you’ll notice, the scale is the same as the first”
“I really can’t believe it. Our scale at home said 18kgs. Can we try one more?” They say in disbelief.
(I want their scale for my weekly weigh-in….13kgs under…awesome!)
“I’m afraid not ma’am, there is a long queue of people trying to check-in.Your bag is 31kgs on this scale, on the last scale and on any scale in this airport.”

Traveller realises they aren’t going to get anywhere with this super-savvy check-in assistant.

Traveller pulls said suitcase off scale and, with the help of the extended family who have come to wish her a safe journey, they each take a corner and drag it, huffing and puffing, the clearly 20kgs (!!!) suitcase over to the original counter.

All working together, they count the lift in “1…2…3…LIFT” and put the clearly 20kgs onto the scale at the original counter.

Traveller now has to open the offending suitcase….. first carefully removing the five bag straps they’ve put around it to try to keep it closed,while carefully ensuring none of their “intimates” fly out when the suitcase bursts open with freedom in mind …. And take stuff out.

They’re oblivious to the growing queue behind them and the sound of tapping feet and huffs and puffs ….. Probably from frequent travellers, like me, who are thinking …. “Seriously??.”

They hand 13kgs of their suitcase content to the extended family, and continue to check-in, still grumbling under their breath that airport baggage scales are shockingly overweight!

The check-in person is a saint.

As I’m heading through security, I see the extended family helping the traveller put all those 13kgs back into her hand luggage and in her handbag.

I’m taking a different queue.

Come back for Part 2: The Security Check!

Eavesdropping … Or Entertainment


So, this is a conversation I overheard in an airport by a British man on the phone. Perhaps he should think about his surroundings next time before he speaks so loud.

I would like to add that he was sitting TWO gates away from me!

“I had a friend come visit me here from Brussels.”

“Yes a woman”

“She’s been a family friend for 42 years”

“Of course she knows my wife”

“Yes … and the kids”

“Sure I love her”

“No, it’s NOT like that. It’s not a love like sex, it’s a love like a mate”

(Mumble mumble due to the Twix Bar he was shoving in his mouth at the same time)

“No, I haven’t”

“Well, I will be here for five months …. maybe permanently”

“She’s a friend”

“A friend”

“You’re a ****”

Thank goodness I was saved from hearing the rest of that conversation by the call to board the plane.

Eavesdropping can sometimes be entertaining ,,,, especially if you are trying to keep yourself occupied waiting for your flight!

 

Distractions …. and other …. Oh Look! A Magpie


So you know how a magpie is easily distracted by shiny objects?

It’s true I tell ya!  Even Wikipedia says,

In both Italian and French folklore, magpies’ have a penchant for picking up shiny items

So if it says it in Wikipedia then it has to be true!

I guess what I’m trying to say is my brain works like that too. Except my distractions don’t need to be shiny!

I also like to make up new words. Words that make perfect sense to me (and a special few within the inner circle —— you know who you are —— and if you don’t —— you’re not in it). They won’t make sense to 99.8% of the population. I’ll get those looks – you know those looks right – the look that says “You Really Should Be In A Mental Asylum”.

When I was younger, like last year, I actually used to unknowingly call it a Mental A-SILLY-um. See! I didn’t even know that I was funny!?!  If only I’d known then, coz I could’ve launched a fantastic ‘Sit-Down-Comedy-Act.

So, basically, I’m a Magpie, who makes up words, and belongs in a Mental A-Silly-Um, doing Sit-Down-Comedy.

That’s all I wanted to say. I thought it was important that you should know before we dive head-first into a ‘blog-ationship’, and then you get all confused as to what the heck I’m talking about, and think ‘Wasn’t she just talking about rabbits in a field? what has that got to do with the new tarmac at Heathrow Airport’

You have been warned 😀

image