The aircraft just touches the ground; "click" click" goes the many seat belt buckles being unbuckled simultaneously; in spite of the "Seat belt on" sign. Few get up from their seat and open the overhead baggage compartment and hurriedly get their luggage down. A beeline is made already....the aircraft is taxing. The pilot announces that we are ahead of time and the gate is yet to be vacated. People are restless; bags shuffling, pushing and jostling as if they don't get out of the aircraft in the next 20 seconds it lands, the air plane will again take off without dropping them. You will actually start to feel awkward if you don't join the crowd and instead remain seated......
I love to travel; you guys know that by now. I try to make at least 2-3 decent trips every year and so airport is if not integral; a decent part of my life. The above one is one of the many amusing and irritating incidents I've come across while flying. These anecdotes warrants a dedicated diary. Its more amusing than irritating when most of them participate and when you are not privy to such an action; you get conscious of being the awkward among the group. Err..yeah! try it once. Try being calm, continue sitting even for a minute after the aircraft lands; the person beside you will definitely stare at you even if he/she does not utter a word.
I get intimidated when I fly; when I wait at the gate; when I walk around the airport. Why you may ask? Not because of the unfamiliarity of the airport and the practices (I must admit I was scared..very scared during my initial travel days, not anymore); but because of the swanky gadgets and travel "necessities" that people around me carry and I feel so barren. Very recently; I saw 2 kids not older than 5 years having iphone 6s and playing games on it. I felt so ashamed to be "flaunting" my dented iphone 5s; I actually hid it deep in my bag. And those huge Beats headphones that kids have to listen to all those crappy music that's being made these days makes me go "whoa!!" . So yeah, I am made to feel how poor I am during these moments.
Freebies! yeah yeah! who does not want one? That man beside me who flew from Hong Kong to Bangalore demanded extra wine; drank it and passed out! He was falling on my shoulder and I had to keep nudging. He passed out after just 2 glasses of wine! These are typical Indian behaviours; sorry folks, I am an Indian too but yeah we can drink even phenol for free. And how we demand those freebies as if its our birthright! and complain if its not satisfactory. Heights no?
Another Indian trait is to push and cut the queue. While I was flying back from Srinagar; there was this "uncle" who kept pushing his trolley to be the first during baggage check. He had already knocked off an elderly woman and was now pushing my suitcase that could fall on the person in front of me. When I confronted; he had a shameless smug look of being "the man". I have no words for such morons.
I do sound like a whiner! Well, we often remember things that are bad isn't it? I have had good things happen as well. Like the lady at the counter who let my baggage checked in without extra cost in spite of being overweight. She was very kind; yeah. Or the airlines that obliged and let me board their flight in Guatemala though I just rushed in just 3 mins before the take off. What bowled me over was they offered a pack of chips, a pack of cream biscuits and juice in that flight! Wow! I did feel like a queen.
Fellow passengers have been kind too; especially if you are travelling alone and have to lift 25+ kgs of baggage. A Japanese man not only offered me a candy; he helped me with my baggage at the airport and left me with a pat on my neck long ago while flying from San Francisco. A person beside me picked up a conversation while I was flying to Casablanca, Morocco and actually gave me enough directions for me to get to the hotel from airport in the most efficient and cheapest way possible.
It doesn't end here....but these are few that I can recall. I am sure I'll have more interesting encounters in the future.