THE INTOLERANT TRAVELLER
(YES, THAT'S ME)
Apparently something has shifted in this once laid back "anything goes" traveller. Seriously shifted. Not so long ago I would laugh off annoying situations and giggle under my breath at people having one too many glasses of chardonnay onboard a flight. Now? Not so much. I seem to be becoming more intolerant as time goes on. I just don't have the patience for bad social behaviour. Is it because I'm getting older? Seeing more of it? Because I'm just a grump??
Firstly a disclaimer: I do normally see the funny side of things. Seriously- I DO!!! I often wonder how whingey blog posts comes across to people- believe me, they are (mostly) written tongue in cheek- but I do wonder what's going through peoples' heads sometimes. Below are two examples from our latest holiday that seriously tested this intolerant traveller (and her much more tolerant husband):
SITUATION ONE: ELVIS.
On the way over to Los Angeles, a man in Business Class got so blind drunk (helping himself at the onboard bar), that for half of our flight he sang Elvis Presley's version of "in the ghetto". Over and over and OVER. LOUDLY. So loudly, that even our headphones didn't block out the noise. After repeated attempts by the poor crew to quieten the passenger, it was evident this was how our flight was going to be. A bad karaoke concert at 35,000 feet. After a couple of hours, Elvis fell into a drunken slumber. THANK GOODNESS - we all let out a sigh of relief - ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. What came next was just as disruptive- a loud rattly lawnmower type of snore. When he awoke- yep you guessed it, more Elvis - occasionally with a swear word thrown in the mix for good measure. Apparently he was very passionate about being in the ghetto. This situation went on for a good 5+ hours until breakfast was served, when the smell of eggs must have tipped Elvis over the edge- as he made a bolt for the bathroom. For the rest of the flight, he couldn't bring himself to make eye contact with anyone. Seriously, how hard is it to just act like a civilized person for 14 hours??
SITUATION TWO: BIGFOOT.
On our way back from Fiji to Sydney.
Time to board the plane in Nadi. There were a bunch of REALLY loud kids screaming at the departure gate- now I like kids as much as the next person, but screaming, sunburnt, tired kids that are literally punching their parents as a form of amusement push anyone's buttons, surely? (*although I do have to say they strangely weren't pushing their parents buttons, who casually glanced around the room and smiled at people as if to say "aren't my kids THE CUTEST"). Well, it was either that or a look of desperation "I'm smiling- but inside I'm dying, pass me a bottle of wine". I joked to my husband that we will definitely be sitting infront of them, no questions asked. A bit like picking the longest customs line, we always seem to draw the short straw in those situations. The plane is configured into rows of 3 on either side of the plane. We confidentially march past the screaming kids (phew) and take our seats. A nice looking man walks down the aisle looking around for his row number and takes a seat next to my husband. We share the standard friendly smile and "hi". FABULOUS- we have got a quiet nice man beside us who doesn't smell, isn't coughing up a lung, and doesn't want to tell us his life story. Normally this combination equates to a happy flight. We take off bound for Sydney and I start reading my trashy magazine about how Kim Kardashian lost 15 kilos in 2 days by drinking cayenne pepper and lemon juice- blah.blah.blah. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, his shoes come off. And they are placed up on the seat infront of him near my husbands food tray. For the entire flight. Let me state that again- BARE WRIGGLY TOES NEAR MY HUSBAND'S FOOD TRAY. FOR 4 HOURS. (And yes- I think I got caught out taking this picture of his foot- one of the few times he didn't have both firmly planted up there).
Seriously- is it just me being intolerant, or is this just gross?? He wasn't asked to put them down by the flight attendant, so maybe this is normal /acceptable behaviour and I'm just a germ freak!?
I often wonder what to do in these situations- ask people to stop whatever they are doing that is offensive, or just put up with it? I always think causing any awkwardness in the air is a big no-no, but I'm now I'm second guessing that!
I just have a feeling I'm going to be adding more to the list after our next flight- stay tuned!