So, as you know, Jack and I went to Indonesia to visit my parents in December. However excited I am to see my family again, the 18 hour trip there and back was not something we were both looking forward to. Jack’s only complain revolves around him having to perform some sort of origami with his body during the flight (he’s 5′ 11″).
Me? I have a slew of other reasons why I can’t wait until teleporting technology arrives and we can say goodbye to this whole flying thing…
The re-circulated air and the motion sickness
Do you notice that the air inside airplanes has a distinct smell to it? If air was to be produced in a chemical plant I’d imagine that’s what it’d smell like: a tinge of metallic and artificial taste that just clings to your throat afterward. No? Is it just me?
But anyway, whatever it is, it makes me nauseous. Added to that the fact that I’m a tiny bit prone to motion sickness, I just turn into a whiny, gaggy, bitchcake during take off (and a couple of hours after that) and landing (and about an hour before that). The only thing that makes me feel better is if I suck on a piece of strong mint candy continuously.
Sometimes I forget to get some candies before boarding. Then I really, really, hate flying.
So, next time you fly and see a girl with a big bag of assorted of minty candies looking a nice shade of green, sitting next to a guy performing some sort of body contortion, that’s probably us. Come by and say, “Hi” and bring some mint candies with you…
The heavily perfumed man, the colicky baby, the teenager in front of me whose headphones are so loud I can hear it, the old man who keeps nodding off to sleep with his head on my shoulder…
The airplane god must hate me because it seems that I’m always surrounded by least 2 of those people.
On the flight back to the states, the guy sitting in front of me kept bouncing his seat back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… and almost knocked my tea out of its tray. TWICE!
The feeling of helplessness
You’re in a metal box 10000 feet in the air. If things happen, there’s not much you can do up there. As soon as I step on a plane, I feel like I have no control over any situations that might arise, and I don’t like that feeling.
In a way, this is related to the whole forced intimacy mentioned above. There’s a baby crying non-stop across the aisle? There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s not as if I can leave to a different room…
One time I had a terrible tooth ache that came out of nowhere… cold sweat, shivering, just-knock-me-out-with-that-food-tray-will-you kind of pain and what could I do?
There was nothing anyone can do but to dose me with loads of Ibuprofen (that did nothing) for the remaining of the flight.
And then there’s the turbulence issue (I definitely need a lot of mint candies during turbulence). Do you know that most airplanes you’re flying in are old? As in 10-15 years old? If I wouldn’t trust our 10 year old car to make a trip to the neighboring city, I definitely do not like the idea of airplanes that old doing cross continent travel either.
But what can you do?
While crafting our RTW itinerary we try to do land border crossing whenever possible. Not only because it’s usually cheaper than flying, but we get to see more of the country and meet more people that way.
Even though land public transportation also has its own challenges, I still think it’s much better than flying. I can at least have the windows down. And when it gets really unbearable, I could get off and take the next one.