Monday, 19 May 2014

Absolutely Dhabulous

The next couple of weeks see me in Abu Dhabi (for a few days of meeting hell), Dubai (for one meeting and staying with friends for the weekend - result) and then on to Sri Lanka (for a week, as I’m “passing” and can’t get enough of the place).

And why am I being so proactive in the posts and writing from the plane, en route? (I’m aware you couldn’t have possibly known that until just now…)

Mrs. Passive Aggressive, behind me.

I know she’s a Mrs. because she’s wearing a wedding ring, and I know she’s passive aggressive because she’s spent the past 4 hours, ever since I reclined my seat (which, without wanting to sound melodramatic, she did first by the way) digging her knees into my back.

Now I may be getting paranoid here, but I’ve been to the toilet twice on this flight so far and both times when I’ve stood up my seat has remained in the reclined position and both times when I’ve returned to my seat, it’s been in the upright position.

It’s Mrs. P.A., I’m sure of it.

She’s doing that thing where every 10 minutes or so she shakes my seat (with an ACME-style ramrod by the feel of things) as though she can’t possibly rearrange herself without doing so. Also, in between this she’s been stretching her right leg out up onto my armrest and wiggling her toes as though she’s in immense pain and I’ve been kicked twice in the elbow as she gets me in the other armrest gap with her left foot.

As I write this, I realise that I sound more than a little paranoid (and I'm clearly bored on this flight), but I’m convinced that the woman in row 32F is trying to break my spirit. And the ironic thing for her is that if she just asked, I’d put my seat up and allow her a little extra room, but no, this is war. Not being immature or anything, but she started it.

So, how to be a courteous passenger? Here are my tips:

1)   Man up. You could be the CEO of a global company, a teacher, a scientist or the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, but the one consistent thing I observe during my travels is that as soon as someone fastens that seatbelt, they turn into a child. I saw another lady (30C) earlier pushing the seat in front of her forward again and again, without even asking 29C if he’d mind moving forward whilst she ate. In the end, she called one of the cabin crew to tell on him. Seriously.

2)   Remember where you are. You’re on a plane. With limited other things on it. We’re 37,000 feet up in the sky. If they’ve run out of chicken with saffron rice, you’re going to have to have the asparagus risotto. If there is no more, there is no more. Just because you shout about it doesn’t mean that one of the crew can whip up a four-course meal. Tesco hasn’t expanded this far. Yet.

3)   Look around. If you’re standing up to go to the toilet or just to stretch your legs, have a look around you before you move and try not to slam the person in front in the back of the head or put your paws over the screen of the person behind you (it will change channel and they’ll never know if Olaf survives the summer otherwise).

4)   No bending. I’m as worried about DVT as the next person, but if you’re doing your stretches please don’t bend over in the aisle right in front of me. It will cause me to laugh out loud and it’ll be more embarrassing for you than me, really.

5)   Smile. We’re all in the same boat (er, aircraft) so it’d be wonderful if we could all just be a little bit 'marzipan house' for a while and pretend to get on. That is, until we get off and then it’s each to their own in the Customs race.

Right, I’m off to the “toilet” to spy for a bit… One reach-around to that armrest button and she’s toast.


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