Friday, June 16, 2006

On my way to the World Cup (onboard flight LH#483)

Hooray for Lufthansa's in-flight wireless access! While my horrible passenger-mates are sleeping away I can type, how sweet. As a quick preview before I make my usual nonsense commentary, this is the gameplan:
  • Friday: land at like 11am in Frankfurt, meet dad who's landed an hour earlier from his flight from LA
  • Saturday: drive to Kaiserslautern (~2hrs) to watch the US/Italy game which the Americans have to win to keep their hopes alive
  • Sunday: fly back to NY
Okay, you're all caught up. Pictures and whatnot will surely follow. I must say, aside from my usual rant about how children should be banned from all civil aviation, passengers can be quiiiite strange indeed. The more I travel the more I feel that I think the people who seem normal are actually the most dangerous people to sit next to... not from a security perspective, but rather from a personal sanity point of view. When you get people who are outwardly weird at least you know what to expect and can begin to defend yourself. When you get seemingly normal people, who knows?

It's funny what happens when you sit down on planes in different parts of the world. I feel that when you're on international flights to Europe people will tend to introduce themselves briefly and explain to you the purpose for their travel. It's sorta like a mission statement. "Hello, I am [fill in the blank] and I'm going to [destination], why are you going?" Usually it's quite cordial. Domestic flight in the US are a lil different, usually there's no talking unless you're traveling on a budget airlines (e.g. Southwest... simply a different breed of traveler) or traveling to the West Coast.

With Indian flights it can go two ways: If you're sitting next to an auntie she'll just smile at you to the point of it being uncomforatble; if it's an uncle he'll stare at you. To be fair, more often than not that's what uncles-types do whether you're in a plane or not: they stare. The best part about the uncle stare is that they don't try to act coy or hide it. They just stare in a very obvious way. For the sake of completeness there is the chance that you could sit next to an Indian grandparent, in which case they will be totally oblivious to the world around them and devoid of common courtesy, such as cutting you off while you try to get off the plane or stopping in the middle of the aisle and randomly yelling to someone across the planes. For all Indian elders, the the amount of proper plane etiquette displayed is inversely proportional to the geographic proximity to India. Once you get to India, all manners are thrown out the window (have you seen everyone actually wait for the fasten seatbelt light to go off before they jump up to take their bags out of the overhead bin?) Of course I could go on and on about how Indians stare, but then again I already have... ("The Desi Stare of Death, 4/22/06)

In my case I'm currently sitting next to this sweet lady who initially greeted my be saying that she is allegedly visiting her daughter in Germany. Ok, this sounds plausible enough. If you're thinking what I'm thinking it's "Well she sounds sane, hopefully it means we won't have to talk for the next 7hours and perhaps I can get full usage of the armrest that we share between us.

No such luck my friends. So far she has told me how her daughter is only in Germany because her "significant other" is German and that she is only there to learn the language. Meanwhile this lady's husband sorta thinks the German boyfriend is okay which "if you know my husband that means the boy must really be an angel, we like the boy and we get along with him." Somehow my attempts of reading Lufthansa's dutyfree catalog are being thwarted by The Constant Babbler. I wanted to tell her "no I don't know your husband" and then proceed to beat the slap out of her, but I refrained. I'm good like that. Oh by the way, in case you're interested, The Babbler is continuing onwards to Sweden after a week in Deutschland ("this time for work, not pleasure!").

Any so those are my thoughts for now. Read this, digest it, take notes, and then re-read. But above all remember, if all the world is a stage, I'm a good actor.

1 comment:

witnee said...

on your flight back you should have your neighbor be a guest blogger.
(i likes the picture)