4 December 2008

Flights of Fancy

I guess I should have known my holiday was going to end up as 'a bit of a circus' after taking a domestic flight to meet my daughter in another State prior to going to Thailand.

I really like flying, well provided the trip is eight hours or less. I used to fly back and forth between Australia and the UK for a while and let me tell you I regarded these 24 hour plane trips to be just as 'painful' as child birth. Once you're on the plane you can't decide to abort the flight mid way and just get off. You have to suffer through it as best you can until it's all over. Just like giving birth. Except you have to suffer in silence when flying. You can't scream obscenities or ask for more drugs or oxygen like you can in a labour ward ......I tried once and nearly got banned from British Airways....

I've celebrated birthdays and Thanksgiving while in mid air. I've been on a plane with a dead body (thank goodness I didn't realise) and someone who'd suffered a heart attack. I even fell in love with an American on a flight between LA and Sydney. Ahhh.. anything is possible when you spend 17 hours in cramped conditions without much oxygen getting to your brain.

I like travelling on Virgin Airlines for domestic trips. The staff at least have a laugh. For example, on my most recent flight the attendant said in her introduction, "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane". At the end of the flight we had a lot of turbulence and a very bad landing. The attendant announced, "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal." To which the Captain replied, "Enough of the sarcasm it was the asphalt's fault." The Attendant then said, "As you exit the plane, make sure you gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. We beg you, please do not forget your children."

Anyway, before the flight took off I was sitting in my seat and a guy comes up and says, "Hi, I'm Steve and I'm bonkers. Is it ok if I sit next to you?" "No worries, Steve", I said, "I'm sure I have met stranger people than you".

Well I was wrong.

Steve wasn't lying. He was bonkers.

He sat down and immediately started talking. With a thick Scottish accent. He didn't draw breath for the entire hour and a half flight. I did manage to ask him why he felt the need to tell me he was a screw loose. He said the last flight he took he sat next to this woman who was a real bitch. She complained to the air steward about him and he was moved. Can't imagine why.

Dreadlocked Steve, told me about his life, family, his bi polar disorder, his breakup with his girlfriend and how he had signed his house over to her to prove his love for her (and how she refused to give it back), how he lived in his car for seven months, his suicide attempt, the musician Harry Manx who saved his life with his lyrics, how he was inspired to take up guitar, how he himself became a musician (and played with the John Butler Trio for a guest appearance and had pictures to prove it) and how he was now working for Cirque du Soleil on its Australian tour. I even got to see a photo of his grandmother...oh....Kate, he comes from Glasgow - you don't have any relations working in a circus in Australia per chance?

Steve also introduced me to the other Cirque du Soleil performers who were on the plane. There was the Sylvester Stallone lookalike from Bulgaria, the French and Canadian couple who had a baby only one week earlier while on tour, the logistics people, the fire eater, stilt walker and on and on.

When I walked off the plane Steve was still chatting to me. My daughter was in the Arrivals lounge to meet me and I introduced her to Steve. She looked shell shocked. I think she thought he was the surprise I promised to tell her about. You know, the younger man with the dreadlocks, piercings, tattoos and guitar in hand that I was clearly hiding from her. She then started looking carefully at all my fellow travellers, "what kind of plane did you fly on Mum, it looks like some kind of bizarre circus...".

Oh yes, how right she was and that was just the start..meeting Steve got me thinking that if I was 20 years younger it would be very tempting to run away with the greatest Circus on Earth. Instead, being too old to tumble, I was glad to be flying to Thailand for a relaxing holiday.....to be continued..


Tell me, do you like/dislike flying or do you have a funny flight story to tell? The most interesting comment gets a beautiful deep pink Thai silk cushion cover (there will be giveaways through December so don't be put off from commenting). Des is the judge....so you best make it funny or at least mention whiskey..that will get his attention.



54 comments:

  1. Oh Lilly - you had me laughing out loud - just what I needed tonight.

    Steve, sounds very entertaining. The people you get to meet hey!

    I had a fellow fall asleep on my shoulder once in a train and I was so scared to wake him.

    I dislike flying now... I watched too many Flying high movies and my uncle was a pilot who told me not to eat chocolate ( I was 21) when he took me for a joy flight over Sydney and Blue Mountains ... I found out why later.

    It didn't turn me off chocolate.
    A few times I read his aviation magazines and in them they analysised the crashes ... scary stuff and it put me off

    Later we took a joyflight seaplane down the Franklin river years ago and the pilot asked me if I was alright because I looked greener than the trees...he had no air sickness bags and my jumper was almost thrown away at the end.

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  2. ps the attendant sounded fun ...at least you'll die laughing.

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  3. OK, here goes:

    Flying from Adelaide to Perth (across the Nullabor Plains for you non Aussies--basically a fancy word for a great big freaking desert), and well known for its turbulence. Right up high in the middle of the flight, sure enough we hit some turbulence. It was like a scene from Airplane: we plunged thousands of feet, we bounced, we tipped, we rocked...it was a rollercoaster ride from hell. Overhead cabins bursting open, stuff flying everywhere. My sister was sitting next to me, already on oxygen as she had a fear of flying and had it ready before the flight took off. Fear of flying and this is the flight she got?! Woah. During a moment of calm--and it was a moment--the American air steward went to make a dash from the front of the plane to the back (God only knows why) with two little bottles of scotch in her hands. Medical emergency, no doubt? She was "plane climbing" (you know that funny thing you do, hanging onto the backs of seats, wobbling all over, it looks like you're mountain climbing) and she got a couple of seats away from me when the turbulence hit bad...she reeled forward, the plane tipped, and she landed smack in my lap, arms and legs flailing. Without missing a beat, she turned and looked at me and said, "LAUGH!! WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR?!" I burst out laughing, but my sister looked at me, horrified, looked back at the air steward, snatched the mini bottle of scotch out of her hands, cracked the lid, and downed it one. The hostess, whose head by this time was nearer my sister than me, was a mess of giggles, so was I, and my sister ended up losing it too...and she drank the other scotch.
    The flight was pretty smooth after that. So, I imagine, was the scotch...Des: I want the cushion cover!!! I'll buy you a drink when you're in India...come on!

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  4. That was hilarious! You're a great writer! My airplane story was not too long ago....

    http://adayinrhondaslife.blogspot.com/2008/11/me-airplane-and-very-private-guy.html

    And other than that, we were on one flight a couple of years ago who wrote a poem about the whole introductory jarble at the beginning of the flight. It was great, and EVERYONE was listening. Which, as you know, never happens!

    I'm going to send Flat Stanley to you first, because it makes way more sense. He'll be on his way this weekend.

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  5. Morning, Lillyness! Oh, this was a great post! It's so good to have you back! This must have been some flight for you! I hate sitting my folks like Steve! I like to read and don't want anyone bothering me! I have a problem - Mr. Precious 'always' has the window seat and I have to sit in the middle seat. Some big ole fat guy will always sit down beside me. Mr. Precious tells me to own the arm rest. Well, easier said than done. The big ole fatty sits down and plops his ole arm on the armrest with his elbows poking in my body and falls asleep. I wriggle as clos to Mr. Precious as possible, hating every second of the flight! Get off the plane with a cric in my neck. Ug!
    I don't mind flying, but hate when the fat ones sit down beside me.
    Maybe I should start acting crazy and they wouldn't sit there. ;P
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  6. How fun! I'm not a good flyer, I have to drink & drug before I get on the plane!

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  7. That was hilarious. I guess he did try to warn you. I attract weirdos who like to tell their life stories too.

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  9. Ah, Lilly, so glad you are back and this one started my day off with one laugh after another! You relate great stories! I've had some intriguing??? flights in my life. The worst being my flight back from Spain where my husband had been stationed with the Air Force. I was pregnant, with two others by the hand and it was one screw up after another until we finally landed in Dallas. To begin with, a general was having a goodbye party in Madrid and they held the plane up on the runway for almost two hours -- explain that to your year old fussy daughters. Then when we arrived in New Jersey I found I had missed my plane to Texas due to the delay. I had to take a bus to Philadelphia to get another plane, which had difficulties twenty minutes after take-off and had to land in Baltimore. It was August and hotter than hell, but I begged them to let me stay on the plane as I had finally gotten my two girls to sleep. They let me and brought me cokes with lots of ice. We finally got to Atlanta at three in the morning where I had to change planes. It was my first look up close at the hippy generation -- they were sprawled all over the floors in all their raggedy splendor! I finally arrived in Dallas, handed over my two girls to their grandparents and slept for twelve hours. Any trips after that were cake walks!

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  10. I hate it when people want to talk to me on a plane. I just want to sit by the window and watch out for other planes coming too close too fast.

    (Once on a flight to Minnesota, I had to change planes in Chicago. As we were making our approach to O'Hare, the pilot came on the speaker and said that we were flying over downtown Chicago, and those people on the right side of the plane could look out and see Lake Michigan. Right after that we suddenly made a very steep banking 180 degree turn. The pilot came back on and said, "Those of you on the left can now look out and see Lake Michigan. But I have to be honest with you folks. We didn't turn around so you could see it too. We turned around because the controller told us we were too close to the plane in front of us." He could have kept that to himself and I would have been happier.)

    I don't even want to talk with S when we fly together. But that's okay, because she's just the opposite of me. so whenever we get on a plane, I hope that someone who likes to talk is going to sit next to her. That way I can have a nice quiet flight and be able to watch for those other reckless pilots.

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  11. Very funny post. Brilliant!

    I'm afraid I haven't got any really funny stories about flying. There are lots of anecdotes of course, but, being a Brit, there doesn't seem to be anything cheerful or anjoyable left about flying - half the flight is usually controlled by health and safety these days and the other half by the most "po-faced" staff on the planet, who appear to wish they worked in Tesco's (like they'd have them anyway).

    That said, I do have a question you or your visitors might be able to answer: why is it that, even if there's only one child on the plane, it's always situated immediately behind me, kicking the hell out of the back of my seat? Sometimes, there's one or two in the seats in front too, climbing up on the seat and glaring over at me when all I want is to be left alone until the torture is over, but there's ALWAYS one or more behind.

    It's not the kids' fault, of course - so many Brit parents seem to have decided that they wish they had used condoms after all and it appears that they have the idea that, if they inflict their offspring sufficiently on others, then maybe they'll be the ones charged with murder.

    I love flying - hate European airlines though :)

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  12. The only flying "adventure" I have is that I sat two rows behind OJ Simpson... before he became a murderer.

    Your story is much better.

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  13. sounds a fun trip, starting with the flight! The thing is you must be a good listener, and that would've encouraged him no doubt!

    I fear takeoff more than landing in a way. Once I met a nice man and got so engrossed in conversation, I didn't notice takeoff. He turned out to be a single father, his wife having passed away and it sounded like he was doing a good job raising his son on his own. These stories tug at the heartstrings.

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  14. Okay..how do I make this story short? That is the question.

    Many years ago I was heading to Vegas with two girlfriends. One was leaving on a flight an hour earlier than us. She left, we waited...and waited...and waited. 8 hours later, we finally boarded the same plane she was one that flew back. Long story..mechanical stuff that's boring.

    Anyway, we got on the plane and we're seated next to a very nice elderly lady with a pacemaker. Right away, the flight attendants, knowing they need to soothe the savage beasts, start offering complimentary ALCOHOLIC drinks. We quickly take them up on their offers.

    Ms Kindly Elderly Lady with a Pacemaker...well, let me just tell you...she likes her WHISKEY. And once she got a WHISKEY or two into her, wow..she turned into a maniac. Before I knew it, she had written up a petition for us all to get our $$ back, we ordering Mr. Hot Shot Business man to the back of the plane to get signatures...and had a mouth like a sailor.

    I was 20 year...er...I mean 21 years old at the time...and she scared the hell out of me.

    It was an interesting flight. I could go on and on.

    ANyway, we finaly arrived in Vegas. My friend that left early? She got bored, made friends with a janitor and was cleaning the halls of the Vegas airport when we got there.

    That's just how she rolls.

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  15. @ Trish - yes I get to meet these people because I have a civic duty I think - I cannot explain it any other way. Oh my, fancy someone falling asleep on you - rather awkward! Your joy flight experience would have been enough to put you off flying forever. What a way to kill a jumper - made me smile, sorry...

    Braja - you hilarious woman you!!! He he and you got a mention of Whiskey in your post. Too, too funny!

    @ Rhonda - I just read your post and something tells me we are sisters from a past life. I think I could have written your story - it was hilarious!!! Just what I would have done and thought.

    @ Shelia - now why is it that Mr Precious always gets the window seat? You poor thing - that is hilarious - claim the arm rest. I must remember that one.

    @ Julie - he he, thats where I am going all wrong. I need to drink and drug before I get on the plane!!

    @ Summer - yes I attract them like moths to a flame. Then again these people probably talk about me as though I am bonkers as well. Have to say some people out there lead interesting lives. It makes for a more colourful life as I have to say I love meeting new people. More normal ones though would be a good thing...

    @ Sylvia - oh my goodness that experience would have been enough to put you off flying forever. Truly horrible - these long haul flights are one thing but when you get back into the country and have to catch more planes too....great comment!!

    @ Grandpa - you are a silent traveller. So I guess like Shelia's Mr Precious your wife sits in the middle as the go between you and other travellers. He he that was a funny story except its only ever funny years after these incidents happen isnt it? Great comment.

    @ CJW666 - its like this, kids and animals know when you would rather be an arms length away from them. I dislike cats from rubbing themselves against me so what do you think happens every time I see one - eek!! I once travelled on a flight to London from Sydney and there were baby twins on the plane. They cried all the way there. The parents were wrecks by the time we got there. Felt so sorry for them. I guess also that you are flying to Spain a lot where many families are going for holidays. I am not sure you can avoid children unless you become a pilot and fly the plane yourself. Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments.

    @ Michelle - oh dear that is a good flight story - O J Simpson. Glad he is behind bars where he belongs!!!

    @ Christine - well I think you and I are probably similar people and yes I do listen to people and I always learn something even with Steve. I am not sure why he asked me if I was bothered though, we all had allocated seats and it was a full plane. He was hardly going to get a seat anywhere else. He he.

    @ Tami - that was so funny. Your poor friend must have been fuming. And I agree you can never trust an old lady with a pacemaker. Too funny!!!

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  16. That was a great post...way to funny! I love that the Airlines has humor!

    Okkk I'm gonna be brutally honest--I WANT that scarf, i wonder if i should lie about a funny story! I WANT IT!

    NOW...for the real truth! I hate flying--hate it--hate it! The last time i flew was in 96 for a marriage retreat to Atlanta..when I got off in Milwaukee I said thats it I'm done--it wasnt a bad flight I just hate it.

    Well my first flight was to California when I was a young 17 yr old girl. I flew out with my foster parents for the Christmas Holiday. Flight was good. I came home alone because I missed my boyfriend. On the flight back-I sat next to I dont remember but I do remember this older (50+) woman dressed very nice--VERY NICE, she kept going back to the restrooms--this was often. I ended up chatting next to the person to me and found out she was going back there and giving favors to the men. I was wondering--how the heck does news travel that fast in a relatively small place for those guys to keep that woman busy from California to Milwaukee Wisconsin? I know she made a mint and that is why she was dressed quite well! That is the truth I am not lying.

    Sid Caesar was on that flight to--my neighbor told me that-but I was to young to appreciate who he was.

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  17. LOL! I definitely DONT like flying! But I love visiting new places :)

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  18. Oh my gosh Lilly that is funny. I could have gotten a little nervous about the suicide story. But I like you love to meet people and Steve would have ended up being my friend also. I just hope you got tickets to the show!! If you have never been to a cirque show it will blow you away. We saw them years ago before they became so big and popular in a small park in Montreal (where they originate from) and it was very cool!

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  19. @ Dawnie - wow what a story - that is great!!! Loved it!!!

    @ Dana - I love checking out the people in new places. I love to see how people live, where they work, shop etc. Shame we have to fly to get there but least its quicker than taking a boat. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ The Mind of a Mom - yes this Circus is so successful now. No, I dont think Steve had the authority to give me tickets to the circus and no I stupidly didnt go even though apparently it was in my city for 2 whole months but I am trying to get my daughter to go. They look fantastic on their website. This is a great Canadian success story. Strangely, Harry Manx who Steve said saved his life, also is Canadian. You are taking over the world Mind of a Mom.

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  20. I have not flown in some time, but ironically love planes.
    My last trip back was via a connecting flight in Las Vegas. I had a four hour layover and took a shuttle out to the strip. Before I had left, my pockets were empty, and I darn near missed the flight out!
    The man sitting next to me when boarded was really nervous, and kept asking me were the plane was headed. When the stewardess came by ... he tried to order FOUR drinks. She politly said no - you cannot order four drinks.

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  21. I hate flying. I am with Trish. My worst experience was when I threw up all over the guy sitting next to me. A perfect stranger. Humiliation extraordinaire. I have never recovered. You are hilarious Lilly. Thanks for making me laugh out loud. You are the type of person to make lemonade out of lemons. Practice makes perfect I reckon.

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  22. Very funny post. I wish I had a airplane story..because your prize is KILLER...but alas I hate to fly with a bloody passion..so I usually sleep through the experience.

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  23. Are you this funny all the time? My flying experiences are the same as Nikki Crumpets. I pop a sleeping pill if I am going on a long flight and knock myself out. I just cannot wait for the day until I can afford first class travel. Just once would be nice.

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  24. I think I dated Steve in the mid 90s, except his name was Brian then. ;) What an excellent story! I would have been asking the circus people to do tricks on the plane seats...

    BTW, we have circ performers at my kid's gym (where they take gymnastics)! They put on a good practice show!

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  25. This past summer, a woman was found dead in the toilet when a Delta plane landed. I blogged this after reading the story online:

    * I’m freaked out by this story about a dead 61 year-old woman being found in a Delta Airlines toilet. I freak out when I have to go to the bathroom on an airplane. I fear crashing while on the toilet, or somehow falling through the bottom of the airplane when I flush. I can just imagine my family telling the story, Yes, my mother WAS on the crapper when her plane crashed, and yes, she will be cremated with the toilet, as it was impossible to separate them. My mother, and the toilet, became one upon impact.

    I’m sorry; I mean no disrespect to the poor woman found dead in the Delta airlines toilet.

    Here's the link to my other blog, and the post:

    http://bburcroff.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/wednesday-thoughts/

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  27. Okay, I need to go to bed. I meant to add that I have very little experience flying, but do have many fears.

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  28. What an amazing plane ride you had, Lilly! I don't have any funny stories about my plane rides, thank goodness. Your flight attendant sounded like a lot of fun.

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  29. OMG lilly, you certainly have gathered some nutters on your way to popularity pal... Firstly, thanks for the mench in yer story, I would stress that not 'all' Scots are mad ya know. There are some prime 'mental' examples though!(btw you seem to have caught a dose of the 'numpties' yerself-ahem cough cough). Your post had me getting the hiccoughs because I was laughing so much... You must have a notice on yer forehead which states 'all nuts welcome'... Some of these
    commenters are brilliant. I just love calling here, can always be assured of a right good belly-laugh while visiting and I'm looking forward to hearing more about yer hol soon. Cheers Kate x.

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  30. @ Speedcat - how funny is that - problem is I think the alcohol on board makes it all worse..ever travelled with a football team on a plane? Actually make that any sporting team..

    @ Sarah - oh yes that would be humiliating - I dont like to eat too much on planes nor do I drink much but water either. I dont really get air sickness though..

    @ Nikkicrumpet - you are lucky you can sleep that is a great thing to be able to do when flying - I truly cannot sleep at all.

    @ Stefan - oh you are a pill popper. On our return from Thailand there was a guy who said he always took sleeping pills and it always worked well for him. Not sure but its worth a try I guess.

    @ Tasha - um you didnt take Steve's house did you? He he. He was kind of sweet and I think he was one of those very honest people too who more than likely got taken advantage of. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Gran - that is hysterical just because it would be mortifying. Can you imagine? A great story!!!!

    @ Kay - well it was only and hour and a half flight but it was eventful and very interesting to be honest. The next leg of the flight to Thailand was event free really. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Kate - you see I spend too long living in Scotland. Perhaps he could identify with me in some way. He was sweet just crazy. I do have that sign on my forehead - but in this case we had allocated tickets so goodness knows why he was asking this of me anyway - I had no choice. I learnt some things. The even more hilarious thing is I come from a very straight city full of public servants and politicians. To have a plane load of circus performers was very unexpected. Thanks for dropping by Kate!!

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  31. That is hilarious! I wish my plane flights had half the entertainment value - I too was unfazed back in the day of eight hour Canada-Scotland flights but find the ones between Canada and Korea horrible. I can only imagine 24 hours... it's the stuff of nightmares!

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  32. Oh, Lily! Another funny post! I'm glad you made it home safely.

    So you've finally met Steve? He used to be very serious and quiet. Circus life must do that to anybody, huh?. I used to have to pry-open his mouth before he'd say anything. LOL. GOTCHA!{I'm only talking about my novel character, Steve, of course.) Hehe.

    I can't wait to hear about the American guy you fell in loved with. Welcome back to all of us.

    Tashabud

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  33. Hey - I saw you on my blog the other day and I was excited to see you were back! I so envy you for being able to take such a great (and eventful) trip. And yes, I have met my share of strange people in airports. (Why are they always hanging out in airports?)
    I must say though, the weirdest people I have ever met were on the Minneapolis city bus. When I attended the University of Minnesota I took the bus so I didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars every month to park my car, and I definitely met some crazy people on the bus.

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  34. I spent ten days in the Soviet Union in the days of the Iron Curtain when it was summer and the place was so grey ... I realised afterwards that it was because there was no advertising anywhere ... Now look at Moscow!
    We flew from London via the infamous Aeroflot - noisy and scarey with one attendant for the entire trip.
    The plane was full of English unionists and Irish priests and nuns many of whom were detained in Kiev for smuggling Bibles.
    We all watched as several books and religious tracts were found in a bag and the owner priest was carted away to ? Surely not Siberia?
    I began thinking again about my decision to take the trip because it was being offered dirt cheap, thinking: curiosity always kills this cat.
    My knees began knocking. Armed soldiers were everywhere (with rifles)doing their best to look menacing (successful).
    My turn and alarm bells. Soldiers, airport staff, strange looking bystanders all closed in towards me and my bag.
    They'd found something in the x-ray.
    The queue watched on as my undies et al were emptied out for general entertainment.
    Then all of the locals burst into laughter. The head searcher was holding up my favourite costume jewellery of the time - a lump of pewter set with a New Zealand greenstone, on a chain. Heavy but dramatic. They had thought it was a bomb!
    June in Oz

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  35. @ Amanda - thanks for dropping by - sounds like you are used to long trips too!

    @ Tashabud - oh yes I have to catch up to see what you have Steve doing in your novel - mmm maybe it was a sign for you that Steve should go in another direction all together.....

    @ Kate - I think maybe airports just bring out the worst in people. I find that part of it the wrost in travelling really. So much process and waiting around really...ah well I wont be flying agin for a long time I think after this time. Thanks for dropping by.

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  36. @ June - oh my that is a great flight story - how terrifying. Truly. Glad that time can make it a little funny but oh I would have had nightmares for a long time after. In fact when I first flew to London hundreds of years ago the planes used to stop in the middle east to refuel (not Asia). I remember that we landed and we were told we could get off the plane but we would have to undergo internal body searches if we did. There were also armed guards surrounding the plane. Things have improved a lot thank goodness. Sometimes we forget how bad it all was. Thanks for your story about your travels. It is fantastic.

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  37. Hello again Lilly and welcome back! Wow what an adventure you had!!! I don't even begin to imagine what you really went through, but life is fun and full of exciting surprises!

    Your passenger beside was interesting to say the least!

    For me flying is great as long as it does not go past 5 hours. I have never done the 24 hours Australia thing for that main reason. Going to Europe 8 hours did not used to bother me but now it does and I completely know the feeling of wanting to walk off the plane :)

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  38. @ Robin - yes I am clearly bonkers but I was trapped - you cant really run away when in an aircraft unfortunately. I also am not really judgemental of people anymore. Who knows why people are like they are - as long as they dont over step my personal boundaries I am ok with it. It took me a while to get to that point though. Glad to see you again and I so loved your last couple of posts. Anyone reading this who needs some inpsiration please go visit Robin at her blog http://www.nakedineden.com

    @ Evita - oh thanks for dropping by and you are probably right - five hours is long enough. That would only get me over to the other side of Australia unfortunately and would rule out all international travel (not sure how long it is to fly to NZ though). Love your site by the way and will be featuring it soon.

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  39. Actually, I prefer the train. You know, you can get off when ever you want (especially if the next guy to you is Steve). But since that is not always possible, I don’t mind flying, I just wish I would have been born in those days when everybody went to the hairdresser before boarding a plane…

    My story is by far not as funny as yours, but nonetheless painful… On a flight from Dallas to Zürich I sat in a 5-seat-row. The guy in the middle just wouldn’t shut up, though compared to your Steve-story, at least “our guy” involved all 4 of us in the conversation – he was actually kind of nice and maybe that’s why all of us just didn’t have the heart to tell him to shut up (imagine, a bunch of weaklings in one row). We just rolled our eyes at each other, sighed, and gave in. It could have been quite entertaining, but 10 hours? In the end he asked me what I thought was the biggest difference between Americans from the US and the Swiss. My answer was, that some Americans for sure knew how to pull the snot out of our noses.

    Speaking about humour: the plane was Swiss, and we don’t really belong to the most humorous people. About an hour into the flight the captain let us know that he would now take a nap and give over to the Co-pilot. “Nevertheless” he said, “I wish you a pleasant flight. And don’t worry, his track record is actually not THAT bad.”

    BTW: If I continue to read your blog, and I intend to, I will have to blame you for my laugh lines!

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  40. What a great, hilarious post. Thank you for the laugh! You sure have had some adventures. I've never been on a flight longer than 4 1/2 hours. Nothing really interesting ever happened to me except the time I was 7 months pregnant. I asked my fellow passenger if I could switch spots with him so I could have the aisle seat. He looked at me like I had asked for a million bucks. "Why?" he asked, stupidly. Guess he couldn't figure out why a pregnant woman would want an aisle seat. Even after I explained that I might need to go to the bathroom - 80 times or so - he wouldn't budge.

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  41. Your story is hysterical! My most recent flight experience is not nearly as funny. On my way back from Bangkok, I sat next to a man who spilled his scotch all over me. Then, he had a horrible cold or virus and coughed with his mouth open. Needless to say, I caught whatever he had, and I still have remnants of it after three weeks. I do hate long flights. But once I get there I'm very happy.

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  42. @ Fida - yes its a shame the traing doesnt go all the way to Europe from here. Australia is just too far away. Your story is a great one - oh dear. It is funny how sometimes people are not conscisous of anything around them when they get into full flight - I guess we are all guilty of it but in closed quarters it can become painful. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Bluecastle - that is terrible - amaing how people get so protective of theri seating arrangments. But not to give it up for you is horrible. I hope you distrubed him every two minutes on your way to the bathroom.

    @ Silverdot - you just came back from Bangkok - just before the trouble? We landed at Bangkok but all I saw was the airport and we were going to go there on the way home but of course couldnt because of the civil unrest. Hope you get better soon!!

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  43. ((chuckling)) I love reading your posts. So, you almost got banned, ey?? ;) Steve...hmmm...interesting story..poor guy! I could ONLY imagine your daughter's face as you introduced him to her. hee hee

    I have only flown once in my life. =O Yeah...oh god! I'm saving my next flight to when I get the chance to FINALLY go to Ireland...my dream place to go.

    Thanks for stopping by today!

    :)

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  44. Oh you poor dear!!!! I think YOU need the whiskey to calm your nerves after all that!

    Hugs! It can only get better, right??? =)

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  45. LMAO... I loved it. As I am stuck in the house with three kids and myself all suffering from the flu, this was the read I needed.. I will never look at flying the same again..

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  46. Very interesting story and I also liked the Virgin Atlantic part of it.

    My brother who was a fighter pilot and used to fly planes like MiGs and SuKovs in Indian Air Force at supersonic speeds. Our mother was always worried about his safety and would say 'take care' several times when he was about to leave home for work. One day he told her 'Don't worry Mom, I will fly my aeroplane very slowly!'
    Vivek

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  47. Oh god i hate when that happens-although it makes for a good story.

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  48. What a great uplifting post, seriously laughing out loud. LOL.. I love the flight attendant.

    The best story for me was when I was flying alone and while resting against the window wall with those ridiculously small pillows, it slipped out from under my head and fell to the floor to the seats behind me. I casually started reaching my hand behind the seat not looking but feeling for the pillow I started grabbing this guys leg behind me then looked up he had the pillow above my head "looking for something".

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  49. @ Alex - thanks for dropping by - I see the funny side in most things, after the event of course, never during.....

    @ Queen Jeannie - oh no they actually have an advertisement for an airline that says something like Phuket come to Thailand. It is amusing. Its pronounced Poo-ket.

    @ Leigh - I know. I have never really flown Virgin before. I normally also switch off to what the flight attendants are saying which is why I think they have injected some humour into their speeches - it gets peoples attention. It's a very smart idea and just another Richard Branson spin I guess. Their planes are also way more comfortable than other airlines (and no I am not getting paid to say this...). Thanks for dropping by I cannot wait to get the next lot of prints...

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  50. Hi, thanks for stopping by again. I've never actually been on a plane and if I ever do, I'm not sure how I'd react. I have to admit I am a bit scared at the thought of it but I don't think I'd be one of those crazed, terrified people. I'd just make sure I had an up to date will before hopping on one.

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  51. Dearest Lilly, you are SUCH a sweetie and you know why. Loved your dear note. You are just FILLED with kindness.

    Now, to leave a comment here, which I'd not done yet (as you know) LOLOLOL!!!!! :) :)

    This whole wild hysterical story had me laughing my guts out -- out loud!!! I laughed so hard I just about peed my pants and I had tears rolling down my face. I am DEAD serious. This was one of your absolutely most witty, funny and madcap posts. You ought to submit it to a travel magazine. Look for one online and send it off. IT ROCKS!!!

    I had this thought last night after we "spoke" via email, that it would be so cool to set my video camera up and film me reading one of your posts and laughing my guts out. You'd be shocked how hard I laugh. You REALLY would be. But the problem with filming me reading one of your posts is that no one, and I mean NO...ONE, would be able to understand a word I said because I'd be laughing so hard. See, when I laugh I snort, drool and braaa like a donkey and then I also do these long whiny inhales that sound like a high pitched donkey being choked...or something else...well...anyway... THEN on the exhale I do these soft little low pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee thingys that I always have to edit out of anything I record. When I really laugh it's a whole event!! I just thought you should know this about me. It's what I go through when I read your posts.

    I also thought the other day that I ought to just do a laughing video of JUST me laughing.

    Now, you my girl, are a serious FULL ON, comedian....even when you aren't trying to be funny...you are VERY funny.

    Lilly thank you for always being kind and understanding. There have been times when it has turned my WHOLE week around.

    You are with me...always.
    Love,
    Robin

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  52. @ Ester - oh sorry and after reading this you may never go on another plane again. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Robin, thanks my dear for your comment and kind words. I would love to see a video of you just laughing - what fun that would be. Go on do it and brighten our lives.

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  53. I know a singer (vivienne carlysle) who used to be with cirque etc. It all sounded very very hard work...

    I think I may have gone mad or sold my soul, if I had had to sit beside Steve...I am still a bit of a recluse in public...then again...look what you would have missed.

    xhenry

    ps: your daughter looks quite normal

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  54. Nice to make your acquaintance Lilly. You sound like a fun person to interact with.
    This was a hilarious!
    I am certainly going to enjoy following your blog.

    I wrote a similar story back in October about luggage.
    http://miruspeg.blogspot.com/2008/10/luggage-lunacy.html

    Cheers
    Peggy

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading what you have to say.