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.