Recycled air, orange foam earplugs, loosely fitted eye masks, knee high red socks, and an airhostess with painted-on black eyebrows... Being on an airplane can generally be a very frustrating experience. If only it could be over in seconds, not hours and hours and hours!
Once seated in 18F, you're sandwiched between two well-presented young girls. The very flamboyant flight attendant hands over your headset while giving you a wink and telling you he just LOVES your handbag. On the left arm seat, you push the earphone cable into the plug hole and then adjust the earphones so that they sit well on your head. You're pushing the earphones closer to your ears, but the noise is really faint and you can hardly hear anything. You push the end of the cable into the hole more. This makes no difference. You then try the hole above. You're thinking to yourself, maybe I am being stupid and I have put it in the wrong one. Looking to your right, and then left, both the young girls have their headphones on and are watching their screens contentedly. You lean slightly over to your right trying to see if the girl has also placed her earphone end in the same plug hole, and yes she has. What are you doing wrong? You keep pushing the end of the cable into both holes. You feel embarrassed; you're slightly flustered now.
Sitting upright, you dart your eyes from right-to-left scanning the isles for a flight attendant. Finally, a groomed blonde air stewardess with far too much red lip-gloss on comes over to assist you. After she tries both plugholes, she then says in her Essex accent, "Hun, it seems someone has previously managed to get something stuck in both the plugholes and this will need an electrician to fix it. Sorry this is such a pain for you hunnie but can we move you further nearer the back of the plane, where there is a spare seat?"
You examine your new domain of 34Q in the central seating block just in front of the toilets. (Nice!) You're going to be sandwiched between an oversized man who pretty much should be paying for a second seat, and a lady who is dressed as if she is already sitting on a beach in some exotic tropical country. Eyeing up the oversized man, you try and think how the hell you are going to climb over him to get into your seat in the most elegant way, if that is actually possible! You decide he is not going anywhere. The only option is to try and squeeze past whilst pushing your chest against his TV screen, which is the back of the seat in front of him. Then your hand gets trapped in the gap of the seat in front and you literally end up pulling the whole seat and the person in front backwards on the large man. Now you're actually sitting on the lap of the oversized man. Can this get any worse! You then try sliding your bottom across the armrest and eventually land in your seat with a huge thump right on the metal clasp of your belt. You're so cringed out and your bum is sore. What a performance! And the oversized man still has a contented smile on his face...
Finally seated, you try your new set of headphones. A loud shrieking noise comes out instead of sound, hurting your ears. You yank the headphones off your ears as quickly as you can, flinging one of the earpieces over the oversized man's arm because his body is taking up half of your seat. The half-naked girl dressed for a beach in Barbados, explains she doesn't want her headphones and gives them to you to try. Hey presto, these ones work, thank God.
As soon as you have taken off, typically you need the loo. You nip out the other way, avoiding a repeat embarrassment with the oversized man. Coming back to your seat, the Barbados babe decides she is going to move her legs to the left so you can climb over her. While you were in the loo, the steward has laid out your food on your tray. You awkwardly stretch a foot over the girl, but your toe hits the edge of the food tray and your hot banana bread desert goes flying through the gap behind the seat. The tomato soup erupts upwards like a volcano and the hot ash lands everywhere! Row 34Q now looks like a bloody murder scene!
Once finally landed, after your eight hour flight, you are presented with a never-ending snake-like queue that has about twenty different folds to it, winding itself through the entire room in its journey towards passport control. Already tired, you join the snake. After about the fourth fold of the snake, the repetitive unnecessary chat with your neighbouring snake-parts begins. The little Chinese lady in front of you starts to tell you about how high her heels are and how she shouldn't have worn them for this queue. She then goes onto to explain her profession, giving the guy standing opposite in the next fold the opportunity to join in and tell you that he works in the circus. You're thinking, Am I bothered or even the slightest bit interested? You don't care, you just want to get through customs as quick you can so you can begin your bloody holiday! Soon, sixth fold in, the regular meeting of the same people occurs, as you again line up alongside the circus guy from the previous fold of the snake. More forced and unnecessary chat begins. "Funny seeing you here again," grins circus guy. Classic.
To make matters more interesting, you notice to your right policemen suited and booted with helmets riding Segways! How odd!
After about the fourteenth fold, an announcement. "Passengers, your luggage has been removed off the conveyer belt. Once through customs please proceed to find your luggage on the floor". Could this journey get any worse? Not only are you probably going be in this snake for another few hours, but going to have to somehow find your luggage sporadically placed all over the airport floor!
Being in flight or being at an airport one would not classify as a cool hub to hang out in. No one wants to chill, chat, or relax here. Lets face it; you don't see Beyonce Knowles or David Beckham hanging out at airports. Maybe if there was some entertainment or a guaranteed a smooth journey with no delays maybe then flying could be more appealing.