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!

 

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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!

To Sit Or Not To Sit …… Or Giving Up The Fight


  

Picture it.

London.
2015.
Cold.
Wet. 
I know all you locals are not having trouble picturing that…..Nothing unusual really.

I finish work. 
Exhausted. 
Trudge down to the train station. 
Manage to get a seat …… first time. 
(Score 20 points for me!)

It’s the small things. 
It is! 
You know it.

An elderly couple get on the train. 
Have that split second of “I’m exhausted. Please someone else get up for them.”

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. 
You all thought that at least once. 

A split second later, a gentleman offers his seat. 

“Saved” I think to myself. 

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. 
You all thought that at least once. 

I settle back into my seat and start to get comfy again. 
Well, as comfy as you can get on a train seat. 

Two stops further. A family get on.
One older lady. One older man. With their two, I assume children, in tow.

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why we say that? Lady and man. Shouldn’t it be Lady and Lord! Or woman and man? 
No one? Just me then? 
So be it. 

But I digress. Where was I? 
Ah yes …. The two older folk. 

So I jump up…without hesitating I’ll have you know… punching the air with congratulations for myself at beating anyone else at being a good and decent human being. 
(Score another 20 points)

……. One moment while I pat myself on the back.
Ok, I’m all patted out. 

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. For the third time.
You’ve all done that at least once. 

I look at her longingly ….. waiting for her to make the move to my now vacant seat. 
My instinct clearly tells me she’s an out-of-towner. 
That, and the fact she is speaking Italian and has a “tourist” backpack on. 
You gotta move fast on he train else someone else gets it!

I’m not met with a face full of thanks.
Im not met with a face full of gratitude. 

I’m only met with ….. Laughter. 
Laughter. 

I win this one though.
Her family …. who should be supportive, I’d like to add …. continue laughing …. 
at her …. 
pointing …. 
at her ….
touching….
her hair.

And then, just as they’re about to get off the train, declare loudly to their beloved mother … “We told you to wash the grey away!”

Rude! 

Next time. 
Take the seat.


Stop. Go. Scream….Or Are We There Yet?


Stop Go Scream Or are we there yet image

I think it’s only fitting for theFrinkleFiles relaunch to feature a taxi story (cab for those of you not on my side of the pond), as it did on its initial launch.

Picture it. New York City. April. 2015. Warm Spring Day.

Now, I don’t know if it’s me. (This is where you say “no, it’s not you.”), but are all taxi drivers completely and utterly FREAKING INSANE.  (This is where you say “yes, they are.”)

In my mind, I picture them being woken up in the morning by their alarms. Pressing snooze. Pressing snooze again. Pressing snooze a last time. (Because statistically — according to “experts” most people press snooze at least three times every morning. It’s true. Look it up!)

I’ll wait…….
Done?
See….I was right….

But I digress. (This is where you say “yes, you are.”)

They wake up. Drag their butts out of bed. Sloth (love that word) to the bathroom. Look in the mirror and say “today, I shall scare the pants out of an out-of-towner in my yellow chariot.” Then he trundles (using all the big words today) down the stairs, climbs into his taxi, and sets the mood for the day to “Stop.Go.Scream” and heads straight for poor little ol’ clueless me.

If you’ve read the first FrinkleFile ever published, you’ll know I’m no stranger to these sorts of taxi rides.

I was just settling into the 45-minute taxi ride, when I noticed the first problem I was going to have.

Slippery. Seats.

I mean the kind of leather ……  (I didn’t check the label so I have no idea if it was leather…but it’s really not important — semantics.) ….. The kind of leather that so shiny and slippery, everytime the taxi driver brakes, my butt is basically on the floor in front of me.  (this is where you say “you poor darling.”

I’ll give you a moment to picture it.
…….
……….
…………..
Now I’ll wait for you to stop laughing!

Yes you did, I clearly heard it.
No need to argue.
I win.
Thank you.

Moving on.

The second issue was the traffic.

Now my sweet, little ol’ taxi driver (see, I can be polite) and his little yellow chariot, were getting well and truly into the “Stop.Go.Scream.” mood for the day.

Every 23 seconds, he changed lanes. I counted them.  Everytime. Followed by a sharp break and a quick speed up.

1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..11..12..13..14..15..16..17..18..19..20.21..22..23… Stop…..Go…..Pause for the scream….. Rinse and repeat. For 45 minutes.

I know he was watching me. For a reaction. I hope I didn’t show too much terror through my clenched eyes.

The second problem….no ….. the third problem … see … traumatized ….  I found was yellow-chariot-taxi-drivers ability to take corners. Or the lack thereof.

I had a dilemma. On whether to jump ship or not. (I know it’s a car, not a ship. Thanks for pointing that out.) To be honest, I wasn’t sure getting out and using a different taxi would’ve worked. Given my experience with taxi drivers.

I stayed put.

We eventually arrived safe and sound at the airport.

One extra grey hair … not that  you would notice it of course …. No you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t!

My solution for taxi’s. Instead of putting those little TVs in the back of taxi’s, they really should have a sick bucket. At least in my taxi’s.

Please.

Pretty please.

Boogers Etiquette


This post may reference bodily functions.
You have been warned.
You’re welcome.

Now let me get on it

So there I was, innocently blowing my nose after having sneezed for the 100th time today, when the new dude in the office sneaks up on me to introduce himself.

He’s clearly seen I’m blowing my nose.
Not so much blowing than wiping.
Semantics.

But he’s been hovering behind me for so long that if he doesn’t say “hello” now, he’ll just look like a weird stalker.
Which I wouldn’t mind to be honest. It’s been years since I was last stalked. Many years. Many Many years.
In fact, how old am I? …. ……. ………… Yip — that’s how many years. (You thought I was going to spill my age just like that … without you even buying me a drink first? …. Sneaky Sneaky! Very Sneaky! Sneak!

But I digress.

Anyway.

“Hello” (in a voice that is clearly worried he may give me a heart-attack, coz he’s been hovering forever while I sorted my bodily functions out)

“Oh, hi, hello”

Scrunches grimey … grimy… grimie …. dirty tissue deep into the palm of my hand.

….then realise, that’s the hand I need to put out to shake his outstretched hand ….

….which he’s also realised and quickly, but efficiently withdraws said hand before I infect him with said tissue.

He proceeds to talk work with me, which I’m trying my best to focus on, but am seriously concerned that my tissue didn’t quite get all of it.

We should have automatic playback in our eyes for situations like this.

I have no idea what he asked me to do, but I have a funny feeling I may just have agreed to give a presentation. In front of people. Actual people.

Blast you Boogers!!

 

 

 

Writer’s Blog … Or … Now What Was I Going To Say?


 

There must be a pill I can take for this.

At least – I’m hoping so.

A bit like when you put the dishcloth in the fridge.

Or the butter in the dishwasher.

Neither of which I’ve ever done!

Obviously.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had “Writer’s Blog” (thanks Brother)!

No, not “block” – I’m not writing a novel here you know, although …. mmmm …. That’s a great idea!!

Anyway, where was I?

It’s the pressure of knowing I HAVE to write – WANT to write

Something.

Anything.

Actually, there’s no pressure at all.

My brain just can’t put the words in order. (No Comments required here thank you very much!)

You know at school, when you had to write an essay for your final exam?

No – what the heck school did you go to!?

Anyway, you read the first line given to start you off (yes we had a “starter line” — deal with it) and BAM! Your mind goes blank. Then you spend the next two hours of the exam thinking ..”ummmmmm.”

So anyway.

Now, where was I going with this?

What was I going to say?

……..

……..

Never mind, I can’t remember anyway!

MAGPIE!!

Mothers …. And Other Lovely ‘Stuff’


So. Picture it. (I’ll refrain from adding ‘Sicily 1922’ for all the Golden Girls fans)

Toiletry aisle of local shop.Warm July afternoon.

Task: picking a new body washParticipants: mother and daughter

Mother ” I want a new body wash”

Daughter “OK.what about this one?”

Mother “Don’t like blue”

Daughter “Huh? The colour doesn’t make the smell. What about this one?”

Mother “It’s yellow”

Daugher “And?”

Mother “Don’t like yellow”

Daughter “Mom! The colour doesn’t make the smell! So how about this one then? It smells great”

Mother “Don’t like it”

Daughter “What???Why not?”

Mother “It’s green”

Daughter “It’s gre..!!!  Are you kidding me? The colour doesn’t make the sm…”

Mother “I like this one”

Daughter “But it’s blue”

Mother “And?”

Daughter “Seriously?”

Mother “This one doesn’t smell like chemicals”

Daughter “(sigh) OK, Great! Sounds good. Put it in the trolley then”

Mother “mmmm”

Daughter “Mom?”

Mother “Well… ”

Daughter “I’m listening”

Mother “Don’t like the shape of the bottle”

Daughter “……. I’m going to get the eggs”