Sunday, 21 April 2013

Strange Bedfellows

'Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows' Shakespeare once wrote and I'm inclined to agree with him, only I'd change the word 'misery' to 'travel'. 

Last week I travelled to Germany to see my daughter and her family and had a wonderful time.  Dare I mention that the weather was glorious? At 26C a lot of the locals were complaining about the sudden heat as it had gone from around 8C to the aforementioned 26C within five days.  Now in rain-laden Ireland, that would be a cause for rejoicing because we'd know that this was better than it gets!  But I didn't intend writing this blog about the weather.

Whenever I travel anywhere by plane, I am always amused - and sometimes irritated - by all those fellow travellers with tons of hand luggage who fill up the overhead lockers before you can say "jet lag".  It wouldn't even be so bad if they didn't get on the plane before you and stand in the aisle stuffing their bags into the lockers while you wait until they are finished, ignoring the passengers behind you who are breathing heavily down the back of your neck and no doubt blaming you for the hold up.  And then when you finally get to move on in search of your seat another body pops up to block your progress, takes down a bag and starts to rummage through it.  I mean, seriously, couldn't you check that you'd removed magazines and stuff you need on the flight from your bag before you jammed it into the overhead locker?

And then there's the 'snoozer' for want of a better word, the traveller who decides to use their seat as a recliner and bounce around on it, making you draw back instinctively and sit bolt upright. Maybe they miss lounging on the terrace at home.  Whatever the reason, it doesn't give you much room in the Economy class.  And of course, there's the passenger who manages to dig his/her knees into your back - but here they are entitled to my compassion and understanding because there is really not much leg room if you are tall.

Being a neurotic traveller (see my blog of last week lol) I always choose an aisle seat so that I can get out in a hurry if anything should go wrong.  No one has ever had a problem with this up until now, everyone being happy to sit in a window seat and philosophical  if they get the middle one.  However, on this last trip a passenger arriving late onto the plane wanted to shush me into the window seat (which was his) without as much as a "would you mind?".  I couldn't tell if this was chivalry, a determination not to disturb me, or a macho masterful attempt to get the seat he preferred.  I refused, of course.  I'm not a neurotic traveller for nothing.  There was a frosty atmosphere between us for the flight and we both refrained from dumping our magazines and stuff on the unoccupied middle seat, treating it as a demilitarized zone like the 38 parallel in Korea.  I'd just like to add that he had two pieces of hand luggage.  'Nuff said.

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