Travel Blues

I hate air travel. I know it is the most convenient form of transport, the fastest means to get anywhere. But, I feel it is a nightmare to be cooped up for hours on an armchair and it gets worse if your co-passenger is unsavory.
It is so much nicer to travel in a train where you can get up from the seat once in a while, stretch your legs, walk around… and if nothing else, there is always something outside the window to look at. Clouds or the dark night sky gets quite boring after a while on an aircraft.
I wish the whole of the civilized world was connected by an immense railway network… underground, over ground, under sea, long bridges, scenic routes, over deserts and plains and hill ranges. It would be quite a feat of engineering and a delight to travel the lines.
Last night on my flight back to Kuwait, I had a particularly nasty co-passenger. He was sloshed and kept drinking throughout the journey and he wouldn’t shut up or let me sleep. He started of decently enough but soon his behaviour deteriorated into an annoying mess. I am normally not sociable while I am travelling, I do like to keep to myself and be in my own world of imagination… and not being left alone to do that was extremely irksome. I didn’t want to create a scene on the late night flight and disturb the other sleeping passengers and even then I had to raise my voice and be outright rude to him (which is not exactly my style). When he didn’t relent, I tried to change my seat or even get downgraded to economy class just to get away from the horrible fellow. Unfortunately, the flight was packed. Finally, I spent around 50 minutes of my 3 hour flight standing in the aisle space near the door with the steward and hostess to avoid the creep.
Well, glad to have gotten rid of him. When I narrated the incident to someone, he chided me for playing the victim, for talking about the incident in detail and so reliving the miserable moments and making him feel miserable in the process about something that is over and about which nothing could be done… about which HE could do nothing about.
Narrating the incident was not reliving it… it was therapeutic, a way to get it out of my system… a way of assurance that stuff happens and you do not let it simmer and boil within you but let it out and be cleansed. Obviously, that didn’t go well for me. As usual, I decided to rant on my blog about it and purge it… and not be judged in the process. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Travel Blues

  1. Good to express & share bad experience so that others can learn & be aware!
    Even I believe it's cathartic.
    Wish the cabin-crew helped you by requesting any other male passenger to swap place with you!

  2. In future, please note you have a set of options. Pick one:

    – If individual continues to annoy you, after you have sternly told him not to – Report it immediately and DEMAND some action is taken. Just because the flight is full, doesn't mean that nothing can be done. You can / MUST insist that either you be seated next to someone else, or HE be seated next to someone else. Even if the crew can't find a willing volunteer in Business Class, there must be SOMEONE in economy who would gladly want to get an upgrade to business.

    – Please note that there is no way to AVOID making a scene in such a case (if you want the issue resolved). So you can always yell / scream. Waterworks work wonders when a female is complaining.

    – This is one of those instances where your STRONG ASSERTIVE nature is supposed to take over. Slap the guy.

    – IF for whatever reason, none of this appeals to you, then tolerate the nonsense. If you want action taken (from your own side or someone acting on your behalf) then ask for the individual's business card (not difficult. Most men are more than willing to hand out their business cards to women).

    – Only option now… If you do want to do something about it – Send a complaint to Jet Airways and make it public by sharing it on Twitter (using relevant # and @ symbols) stating how traumatized you are because of the experience (highlighting that it wasn't their fault), but you do wish that they would identify the person (they would have the details from the flight manifest) and report him to the concerned authorities for harassment of a passenger. You will have to provide your flight details, of course. State that Jet Airways could forward to you the passenger details and you could also initiate action from your side (if it is possible to take any action) The worse you make it sound, the more ReTweets you get. Who knows, could even be picked up by some newspaper as well.

    Chances of anything happening – Not much… but at least you did something (if that works for you).

    If an activity is going to generate some result or achieve an objective or serve a purpose – I don't mind the effort.

    If no result is sought and no objective is there, then the only reason I would be interested in continuing with said activity would be if there is some form of leisure value. Comic relief. Intellectual stimulation… something along those lines.

    In case it becomes evident that nothing is going to be achieved, no purpose is being served… end result is 0, then I can only be polite. And there are limits to that (at least in my case). There are times when I don't mind being polite. There are times when I just want to be left alone. Unfortunately, these timings aren't scheduled, or else I would gladly chart them on a Google Calendar and share it with everyone.

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