It’s been a couple of days now since I have been home. So I think I am ready to share about my interesting flight experience, even though I am still a little PTSD over it. No, my plane didn’t crash or anything of the likes of that, but I had a cultural experience.
I flew out of Delhi at 2 am. I was very tired when I got on the plane and I was ready to sleep. My seat happened to be in the aisle next to a couple. I could tell that they had wished the seat would have remained empty, but this is life. After all, I bought that seat.
I was sitting there minding my own business, and the woman in the middle seat decided to spread out a little bit. Her elbows invaded my personal space as she shoved it into my side. Her arms rested on the arm rest and her foot crossed over her space onto my side. I found myself moving as far away from her as I could because I wanted a little personal space. Realizing I am still in a foreign culture, I lived with the personal space invasion. So, I put my earplugs on and decided to go to sleep ignoring her elbows in my side, and her feet and knees shoved up against me.
After I was asleep for about an hour, she woke me up by shoving me, not tapping my arm, but shoving me. Ok…a little aggressive, but I understand. If you are going to sit on an aisle, then those inside have to get out to go to the bathroom. I got up and let her out. I sat down, and my tired body went back to sleep immediately. Well, she came back and shoved me again. I woke up…got out of my seat and let her sit down. I was very gracious about it, after all I had the aisle seat. About ½ hour later, her husband had to get up. Once again they shoved me, I woke up and let them out. I admit, I was getting irritated because I was sitting by the one couple that wasn’t sleeping on the red eye flight. I understand that everyone needs to have a bathroom break, but I had hoped that I could sleep on this flight.
The flight attendant had compassion though. She saw that I was sitting next to the only people on the 747 not sleeping, so she came over and told me about a center row that had four seats, but only one other person sitting in this area. It was in the very back, but that sounded pretty good. I could at least spread out on 2 seats since he was on the opposite aisle. (747 planes have 3 seats on each side, and 4 seats in the middle in the cattle car section with a total of 10 seats across).
When I showed up to my new seat, there was a man spread out on 3 of the 4 seats leaving the aisle seat open for me. The seat in the back doesn’t recline so it would be essential to move this man. The flight attendant, my hero, took this mans feet off the third seat so that I could claim my territory. I spread my body out over the two seats, and then this man put his feet on my legs after the flight attendant left the scene. This was not going to work for me, so I shoved them off. We went through this routine for about 2 hours until I was so irritated that I did one giant shove to let this man know that he could not have this space. I was getting mad now. So then the man turned on his back bent his knees and spread his legs as if he were going to have a baby. I am serious my friends. It wasn’t funny at the time. So, I turned my body away and tried to ignore him so that I did not have to deal with this view.
Mealtime came. He woke up and began to talk to me. “Hello, how are you? Enjoy your meal.” He said it with a kind voice as if nothing had happened. But then what came out of his mouth next was more than I could handle.
“Mam, do you mind if I lay my head down by you instead of my feet?” He said with an accent.
Thinking I misunderstood, I said, “What?”
“Do you think I can lay my head down at your end and use that seat?”
By this point, I was done with this person and I said, “You can have the seat. I am moving.”
I got up and went back to my original seat. The couple was not happy to see me but I didn’t care anymore. For the next hour and a half, the couple burped up their food and passed gas openly. Burp burp…fart fart. Out loud.
This was my 8-hour flight from Delhi to Frankfurt.
Welcome to the romantic and glamorous world of travel.