Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ahhh, international travel

It never ceases to amaze me how I can put on an eyemask, push in some earplugs, put my head on my purse and sleep for hours in airports. This is very useful on long layovers, for early departures and of course, when one did not get very much in the way of sleep the night before, for a variety of reasons.

I once woke up drooling in a packed departure lounge at the Orlando airport - one that had been empty 90 minutes before. People were staring. Last year I spent three hours sleeping on the floor at Pearson in Toronto when my Etihad flight was delayed. And last Thursday it was Frankfurt. Understandably, my pet peeve are those airports with loud television news playing (Toronto) and benches with metal armrests separating the seats to discourage sleeping (Toronto). My favourite are first-class lounges with special sleeping rooms (Istanbul).

It occurred to me on the Abu Dhabi-Frankfurt leg that I couldn't decide what was worse: sitting by someone loudly snoring on a plane, an excessive throat-clearer, an repeat sniffer, or an old man who smells, for lack of a better word, dusty. I am still not sure.

And although I am a big fan of the neck pillow, considering them essential for long flights, I wonder about people who wear them outside their seats. There was man with a gray neck pillow on one of my flights and he wore it even when he went to the bathroom.

I also wondered why Lufthansa would ask "movie questions?" and list a special email address after each film. What could I possible ask them that they would answer? "Dear Lufthansa: I am not sure I completely understood what went down in Duplicity, can you walk me through it?" Maybe "could you have more than five movies in your rubbish selection for the flight home? I watched them all already"?

And as for the Internet machines in the (world's most expensive) Frankfurt airport, the ones that charge 16 Euros for an hour use: nice markup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This made me lough out loud! Hope you're having a fantabulous time McQueen. And don't be sad about not being part of future plans or not knowing where you belong. It's so much better being a tourist in your home city and EVERYONE is always pleased to see you. Enjoy having a foot in both worlds. That sense of dislocation will evaporate when you're back home for good, realising nothing has really changed and those frendships are still intact. Love, an older, wiser Miss T x

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