Thursday, June 11, 2009

planes


So I fly to Istanbul tomorrow night. Via London.
It’s going to one of those torturous journeys involving:

1) Sleep-induced spittle (Mine. I may not pooh, but I do drool when I sleep.)
2) Inflatable neck cushion
3) Cankles the size of the Ottomon Empire
4) 11 hours to London, stopover for 2 hours, and then another 4 hours to Istanbul

Rock and roll. I’m seriously going to be over reclining seats by the time I reach the airport smelling like a…plane person.

I’m cold. I’m grumpy. I shaved my legs for the first time in a month last night.

I’m also starting to get seriouuuuuusly excited. Hence the celebratory legshave.

The whole journey – and I feel like a Voortrekker – will be 17 hours. I’ve instructed my colleagues who arrive hours, days, weeks, before me, to have a cocktail on the ready at the rooftop pool terrace of our hotel.

Dad got me a bit scared last night.

He flies, loves it, and his vomit comet is only for those with balls of steel. But he’s been following Air France crash forums to the point where he knows every single detail of what might’ve gone wrong on that flight.
He said plane crashes happen usually as a result of at least two things going wrong.

Also because France sent troops to Afghanistan recently, one of the theories floating around is a terrorism attack. But surely that’s unlikely – terrorists wouldn’t be so quiet. When they do shit, they go big. They send a message loud and clear, publicity is their bag.

And let’s be honest, France would’ve surrendered by now.

He told me to ask the air hostess to tell the captain to fly around any thunderstorms, because now that planes are trying to cut costs, they fly through storms they would otherwise avoid if there wasn’t an economic crisis.

I know maybe only one plane seems to crash a year on average, say. But surely my personal probability rises if I were to say, take, 16 flights a year? (Which is what I did last year).

You also wonder, then, how many times you flown when you were close to crashing but you never realised it. Maybe only one thing went wrong, but how close were you to death? You get off, reckon it was a pretty turbulent flight, but it’s all good. When really, at some point, during the night, it maybe wasn’t?

I’m not a nervous flyer, that is until the plane suddenly lurches when being thrown around by desert thermals.
Then everyone's a nervous flyer, come on.

Take off, landing, is different: I grip the armrests, but more because I get the feeling pilots seem to enjoy double bouncing down a runway.

Also with regards to dodgy people on planes – touch wood the dodgiest situation I saw involved a cocaine smuggler being shunted off the plane from Buenos Aires by security cops in Cape Town.

He was sitting in front of me, charfing the air hostess in the obnoxious fashion that is both tiresome and pitiful, and next thing ‘Passport please’ and off he went, never to be seen again.

Will calm down by tomorrow.

24 comments:

po said...

Wow, you get exciting things on your flights, I never got a drug dealer before.

Mwaha to the French surrendering, and have an awesome trip and buy lots of carpets!

getaway said...

I get hives and cold sweats just imaginging flying!! YIKES!!
Much like your dad, i been following that missing plane - think its my gripping fear that lead to my exagerated interest - psychological!

Big ups to all of you who fly - camel's balls of steel!!

Peas on Toast said...

po - it was so random the drug dealer dude. He wasn't exactly being inconspicuous or keeping to himself. He was boozing, chatting animatedly to the dude beside him, charfing the poor air hostess, and next thing we never saw him again. Wierd!

getaway - shame, that is hardcore, and I completely understand. That's why I know a bit about snakes - crazy fear that leads to exaggerated interest! So do you ever fly at all? And what happens when you have to?

Nessers said...

I LOVE the take off and landing most of all - I recon if we do crash at that point they will at least find my body or bits of it to identify me which is probably my biggest fear on the planet that they won't find my dead body - go figure cos I do know there are worse thing to be afraid of - what is in Turkey except the "Delight" of course

icepick said...

Im with getaway, planes are frightening. I have nightmares involving crashes n shit. I duno how u do it Peas. But gripping the handrests, together with copious amounts of tranqs, still unsettles me.
I think it has something to do with possibly being in control?
I dont like the idea of someone else playing God with my life. :) hehe
Its silly, i know...
But I'm anxious like that before an operation too.

Ruby said...

Turkey = AWESOME! I hope you have a great time! Look forward to the photos...

Been meaning to ask how you fought off the "overbooked" flight story last time? I'm flying on Monday to London and the two things I'm most afraid of are an overbooked flight and a crash and of course... BAGGAGE getting "lost"...! Will it help to book in in advance online...?

Peas on Toast said...

Nessers - interesting! I was thimnking, surely crashing in the water is a ...softer landing? But I hear crashing on the ground you have a better chance of survival.

God, I totally shouldn't be having this conversation today!

icepick - my colleague just told me we're more likely to die in a train crash than a plane crash. And certainly most likely in a car crash.
Still. I hear you on the operation - I've only been in surgery once for wisdom teeth and was terrified I'd never wake up...

Peas on Toast said...

Ruby - howzit, thanks so much, I'm getting pretty excited! (More excited if I get there...)

The overbooking - yip you can try and book your seats beforehand online, or otherwise if you're flying at night with the rest of Europe, I suggest getting there 3 hours in advance, not 2. You can print out out an e-ticket before you check your bags in at one of those little machine things near the queues.

And then if all else fails, throw a tantrum and cause a scene :)

icepick said...

lol thats so funny Peas. I got my wizzys out 3 months ago and thought the exact same. I told the anesthetist right before he was injecting, that if I dont wake up, I'm gona haunt his ass for eternity.

It could possibly also be that we extremely observant and analytical?
In the case of me GF, she is almost completely the opposite. She can daydream unconventionally for hours without even realizing. So to her, a plane flight, is just an inconvenient joyride. Where as I'm writing my will upon checking in...

Anyways, Enjoy Peas. Istanbul looks awesome. I heard they planning on banning the hubbly there though?

Peas on Toast said...

icepick - hahaha us Type A's tend to really rip the ring out of the worst case scenarios eh? But no one can ever blame us for ever NOT BEING PREPARED! :)

On a more concerning note - banning of hubbly bubblies? Seriously? That's like Ireland banning...leprechauns!

icepick said...

Well, it really does my head in at times. :)

EXACTLY! haha Its like banning beer in Germany!

Heres the link: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-05-30-istanbul-bans-the-hubbly

Doesn't look like a complete ban, but its almost tradition there..

Peas on Toast said...

icepick - thanks man, that is indeed nuts!
I guess there are these bordering-on-illegal hubbly parties now. Super underground...perhaps a reason to buy that pink get-up I so want? ;)

Amy said...

Peas & Icepick - I am about to disprove your theory.....I am extremely analytical and observant(apparently totally type A according to some) but I can daydream for hours and also think of plane rides as inconvenient joyrides (it's a means of getting there! Would be way better if I could fly first or business class and could at least stretch my legs!).....

frozen-heart said...

darling Peas! you have yourself a wonderful and safe trip, if in the south western areas of turkey, check out pamukkale, quite the wonder to behold. i layed in them slopes like a beached whale and sapped up the spring pools, twas all so good and oh so long ago... boo hooo! turkey is a wonderful place to visit, there is many a place that is just gorg to go look see. was the best times of my younger years spent traveling with ole trusty back-pack.
enjoy enjoy and come back safe to tell us all about it some see!
mwah! x

Peas on Toast said...

Amy - hahaha! Why hello there :)

frozen -it sounds amazing, and so lucky you've gone there! Sadly I'll be stationed in Istanbul the whole time (work seminars), so I won't be able to see much else. But still am terribly excited to get a small piece of it :)

getaway said...

LOL thus far i've managed to duck and dive my way around it!! But now studies abroad has become a very intriguing option...so its me puckering up the balls to face my fear vs sticking my head in the ground.

Actually read that article icepick. Sad that they'll be letting go of something that is clearly etched into their culture..

I have a cuz who works at the airport, she says its a set of down lights short of real entertainment!

Peas on Toast said...

getaway - shize, by all measn if you have an intriguing option that involves travel - I'd say DEFINITELY TAKE IT!

But also if your fear completely outweighs the fun, then I suggest strang tranquilisers knocked back with two gin and tonics. By the time you land, you wouldn't have remembered so much as a bump in the night! :)

getaway said...

Thanx for the advice peas, i'll ride this for all its worth!!

Self medication got me through the the stresses of university, so no argument on the method!

Delayed - that abomination of fashion could appeal to the anyone who can enjoy the alternative...and beyond!!!

Charmskool said...

I get through flying with judicious use of rescue remedy and as much free booze as they will give me and to hell with the cankles. But I can just picture the scene -
Ms O'Peas - "excuse me Ms Flight Attendant.. my dad says you must please tell the pilot to fly around that thunderstorm up ahead" Off trips Ms Perfect Makeup to the Cockpit "Hey Chuckie, we've got another one of those crazy daddy's girls up in steerage - wanna really bump us around through that storm for a little extra fun?"
Have a great time in Turkey and bring back that Turkish Delight with the pistachio's in please - oh wait - I'm not on your gift list...ah crap

Peas on Toast said...

getaway - self meds are totally the way to go if you not sure you're gonna make it through the next second - DEFINITELY!

Charm - Ms O'Peas - "excuse me Ms Flight Attendant.. my dad says you must please tell the pilot to fly around that thunderstorm up ahead" Off trips Ms Perfect Makeup to the Cockpit "Hey Chuckie, we've got another one of those crazy daddy's girls up in steerage - wanna really bump us around through that storm for a little extra fun?"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

icepick said...

Rescue remedy? :P
I'm thinking Valium and straight shots of pure alcohol into the brain.

...2 days before the flight.

Turbulence is just one small matter that I cannot comprehend.
Ive even imagined the jet engine falling off - thanks Donnie Darko.
Or the pilot taken a nap on the "release fuel" gauge.

Shit, I better shutup.

Dont worry Peas. Your flights gonna be fine. 17 hours? Pffft...whatever

:)

KaB said...

OMG...I'm off to Edinburgh next week & am scared shitless, to say the least! I have been following the Air France disaster like a hawk & let me tell you...I'm fucking, fucking scared shitless of flying! That said...all things happen in 3's...

1) Air France goes down
2) Some intercontinental Spanish flight had to make an emergency landing earlier this week after massive problems with engines!
3) Fire in the cockpit onboard an airbus (the same model as the Air France one) from Japan to Aus...they also had to make an emergency landing!

I'm taking sleeping pills & more sleeping pills! I just can't handle this shit anymore!

But hope you have a nice flight...I've done a fly to London, connect to Gatwick, fly to Jamaica earlier this year...that's a mind fuck & a half...after all that time spent on the plane, you nogal go back in time for anothe 12 hours...what the fuck is up with that shit?!? Needless to say...my body concked out!

Have fun & don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Peas on Toast said...

icepick - Ill take a pic of my cankles after 17 hours and then you'll see what I mean. ;)


kAB! Howzit long long time love, how's it going!

Yeah I've never been overly paranoid with this flight stuff, but I'm definitely worrying more than ever before. You felw to Jamaica though - now THAT'S scary shit. Don't you fly over the Bermuda Triangle on that trip??

I'm always scared to take sleeping pills in case I don't wake up on time and end up dossing in the plane long after everybody else has disembarked. But maybe it's time to face facts - sleeping pills or bust! x

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