I show my boarding ticket to the flight attendant and they tell me which aisle to go down. They are all smiling and look so well put together with not a hair out of line. I wonder how they always look so good even through night flights.
I’m always so excited to be on huge planes and feel a sense of camraderie with all my fellow passengers. I stand in the aisle waiting for all the passengers in front of me to figure out what and how their bags are going into the overhead. Some have overshot their seats and are backing up. We’re all backing up.
I check my ticket for the 10th time since I got it printed at the check-in desk. I eye the people sitting around me when I can spot my seat. I’m shuffling in my seat trying to figure out where to put everything. The wrapped plane blanket, pillow, my own scarf, the headphones and my other bag going under the seat in front of me are all under me, in my arms or on me. The plane pillow is a repeat offender of not knowing what to do with it. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable behind my back, sometimes it’s wedged between the arm handle and my leg. But it keeps falling on the floor.
I feel flustered and am not sure if it’s from all the excitement or the air-con hasn’t been turned to full blast yet.
They bring around a hot towel. I’m never really sure what I’m suppose to do with it. I wipe it on my face realising that it’s just about to open all my facial pores. It gets cold quickly so I finish with wiping my hands because that’s what everyone else is doing when I look around. I then try to figure out where to keep it but settle on leaving it haphazardly dangling from the fold out table or back seat pocket.
I do an audit of the available movies and make my mental list. I only pick out a handful knowing that I want to sleep on this flight at some point.
The menu card comes around. I’m always excited to see what options we’ll have. I’m delighted that there’s an entree and dessert. Can’t wait for the bread roll and salted butter. I always buy unsalted butter at home so this will be a great holiday treat. I make note of my 1st preference and then a back up incase my 1st isn’t available. I don’t want food regret.
The safety video plays, I always like to watch the attendants and wonder if they get annoyed when passengers don’t pay attention. I look around to my nearest exit. It brings me some reassurance but I’m not going to think anymore about this. Sometimes, the safety video are so well made and/or funny. Special mention to New Zealand Airways for having a Lord of the Rings themed one and to Qatar Airline for having the Barcelona football team star in one of their videos. We take off, the holiday has officially started.
The drinks cart comes around. I always think I should try the tomato juice but stick to my usual. Sometimes I get a nice old gin and tonic and settle snugly into my seat and movie. Better get comfortable, there’s another 8 hours until we reach Asia for our stopover.