Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Musings on the Plane

I have been flying on airplanes on a regular basis since I was very young. I lived and spent my summers abroad for a while, so I was used to getting on long flights and became a seasoned traveler from a young age.

And yet, I hate flying.

I hate everything about planes: the uncomfortable and narrow seats, being crammed obscenely close to strangers, the inedible and bland food, the overly cheerful flight attendants, the stale smell of the cabin air pressure. Turbulence makes me nauseous, in addition to the fact that I get slightly motion sick anyway which prevents me from doing most time-occupying activities such as reading.

I was so scared of the loud whoosh the airplane toilet makes when you flush it that for years I refused to pee when I was on a plane. This led to a lot of running out to the restrooms the second I got off the plane and almost peeing my pants.

(Ok, it still kind of scares me, so my solution now is to wash my hands and get the door open before I press the flush button. Therefore it doesn’t make the loud, scary noise until I’m out of there.)

Seriously, I hate flying so much that when I went to South Africa last year, I had to get my doctor to prescribe sleeping pills for me so I could make it through the 24 hours of traveling and insanely long plane ride.

(Side Note: Twenty-four hours of traveling plus Ambien plus my sister leads to some awesomely epic dance routines caught on video.)

(Side Side Note: My sister has a totally opposite attitude towards flying and tries to cram as much as she physically can into one flight. She always accepts the snacks and beverages that are offered to her, and usually consumes mine. On the flights that have private movie consoles, she literally watches movies back to back the entire time, to ensure that she gets as much entertainment and food as she can out of the airline. She also steals food at breakfast buffets to eat later. And rolls at Red Lobster, but that’s a whole different story.)

And this isn’t specific to just one route or airline. I have flown on almost all of the airlines out there and even in first class a handful of times. And I still hated it. I got so severely dehydrated and air pressure sick on a first class flight ten years ago with my family that when we landed I promptly threw up and fainted. Into my vomit. Like some Monty Python sketch. An emergency doctor had to come meet us at the hotel.

Until they invent that teleportation thing, though, it seems that I am stuck flying, so I have tried to come to terms with it.

I always get the window seat because I like to lean against it to go to sleep, the one thing that I can always manage to do on planes. But lately, I have been enjoying watching the take-off and landing, which has been a pleasant side bonus. As terrifying as those moments can be, there is something magical about seeing the twinkling of lights as you take off into the sky, or knowing that hitting the tarmac means you’re home.


Anonymous said...

Airplane bathrooms scare me, too. I figured out that thing about washing your hands before you flush- it definitely helps.

I was too full to eat my bread ("Rubshlager") and cheese danish on the plane so I kept them and later fed them to the boys. I thought you'd be proud.


Bloggette said...
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Bloggette said...


Terrific blog. I love someecards - you should take a look at marriedtothesea.com - some hysterical comics in the same realm :)