Friday, July 17, 2009

Travel Tales

I've been meaning to write a post about this but keep forgetting to do so. With all the air travel I've had lately, one tends to see a lot of bizarre behavior at airports and in flight. I've long been a student of public behavior, or "people watching" as it is more commonly called. All I can say is people do the darnedest things. Before proceeding any further, I should disclose a few things up front: 1) I am somewhat of a germ-o-phobe, 2) I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to manners and conducting oneself as a gentleman or lady, and 3) I have a tendency to be a little judgemental. That being said, I feel compelled to share these Travel Tales here with you. The first is the Tale of the Dirty Sandwich. Our flight had taken off and we had reached cruising altitude. I'm settled in, wearing my neck pillow and prepared for the journey. My eyes were closed in an attempt to block out the surrounding distractions, and maybe even catch a wink or two. All of a sudden I hear a rustling of plastic and start to smell food. Out of curiosity, I open my eyes and glance over to the seat across the aisle. There is a woman unpacking the contents of a plastic grocery store bag and laying it all out on her tray table. I watched, fascinated by what she had brought onto the plane. Truth be told, I have no issue with the fact she brought her own food, as airline food is nearly inedible if you are even lucky to get any at all. Anyhow, she starts an assembly line, which I now realize is to feed herself and two others seated nearby. But then she does something that really grosses me out: she lays out all the food components DIRECTLY ONTO THE TRAY TABLE, with no napkin or plastic. Picture this: a stack of sliced deli cheese, sliced cold cuts, sliced bread, PICKLES, all sitting there touching the tray table. She whips out a jar of mustard and begins making sandwiches. Apparently she must have the one completely sanitary tray table in the universe. Or perhaps she and her guests were already riddled with deadly bacteria and didn't mind a bit more from the tray table. They all happily consumed their lunch. When she was finished- she found a glob of mustard on the tray table. And yes, you guessed it, she swabbed it with her index finger of the tray table and licked her finger! I nearly vomited right there and then.
Next story: The Tale of the Dirty Diaper
I'm sitting in an airport, waiting at the gate to board the flight. We had easily 30 minutes to go before boarding started. Plenty of time for anyone to use the restroom which was 30 feet away. A mother and father stood nearby with their young toddler who was running around terrorizing everyone. The mother decided it was time to change the boy's diaper, so she calls him over, puts him on the floor, right at the gate, removes his pants and dirty diaper, and begins the usual process of changing a poopy diaper, right there in front of everyone- ON THE FLOOR AT THE GATE. Everyone watched in horror, especially me. What is it with people, couldn't she walk to the restroom to do this? Then once finished, she helped herself to a bag of potato chips, never having washed her hands.
My final story is the Tale of the Silly Songstress. Just my luck, I sit next to the future American Idol contestant who thinks she is better than she is. I was in my seat, feeling a bit grumpy so I kept to myself and didn't chat with anyone as I sat down and organized myself. I began reading my newspaper when the person sitting next to me begins singing, just loud enough that I could hear it. I stopped for a moment, and tried to figure out what was going on. I kept my face buried in the paper, not wanting to encourage her further. She wasn't wearing headphones and unknowingly "singing along", she was just sitting there singing. After two minutes I put down my paper, turned to her and said, "Would you mind not singing aloud, I find it rather distracting." She started to giggle and said "Aw you are sweet, let me try a different song for you." To my horror she continued to sing on and on. I finally had to break out my sony noise cancelling headphones and play my iPod. She actually had the nerve to ask why I needed to listen to my own music when I had her sitting there. I let her have it. She finally shut up and didn't say a word to me for the rest of the flight. Sometimes the direct approach is best.
Anyway those are my Travel Tales for today. Do you have any to share?
-Rick Rockhill

13 comments:

Scott in Iowa said...

I've been witness to the diaper changing right at the gate as well. I just don't understand what people are thinking.
I was one a plane once after all of the announcements had been made to turn off all person electronic devices. The man sitting in the seat next to me continued using his cell phone as the plane was racing down the runway for takeoff. I finally turned to him and reminded him that he was breaking safety rules and that I was not willing to be at risk so he could use his cell phone. He ignored me. Grrr.

Ben Wu said...

On a recent flight I took my seat and proceeded to take out all of the in-flight magazines I had brought to pass the time; Rolling Stone, Fortune, Martha Stewart and US Weekly (the last 2 I borrowed from the wife of course). I put them nicely in the seat-back in front of me to read later.

I ended up closing my eyes and falling asleep briefly while we taxied. I awoke to find that the person next to me felt obliged to remove MY magazines from MY seat-back and put them him in his! He had his grubby little paws all over my Rolling Stone as if he owned it!

I'm not one for confrontation, so it took a while to build up the courage to say something.

The nerve of people!

The tray table sandwich chef was one of the grossest stories I have ever heard by the way....

Kathy said...

Oh Sweet Mother of God!!! Those are priceless!!!
I, too, am a germ-a-phobe. I won't even use those trays and I carry Clorox wipes with me wherever I go. EVERYTHING get wiped down! I also travel with my own pillow.
On the last flight back from LA, my husband's flight was delayed an hour because a family of eight boarded insisting they could sit anywhere they wanted. Evidently they couldn't read. The pilot eventually had to call ground security to get them seated.
On another flight was a drunk woman who continued to seat hop into men's laps. Yea, this was real cute. I don't know why they kept serving her, but they did.

Anonymous said...

My favorite, or least favorite, depending on your point of view, air travel experience was sitting next to a very lovely young lady who about 5 minutes in to the flight turned to me and asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” Along with politics, religion is a topic I try to avoid discussing with strangers, so I just sort of mumbled an “I don’t know”. BIG MISTAKE. The next thing I know she is standing in the aisle asking the rest of the passengers to pray for me, a lost soul. If it had it not been for the flight attendant’s intervention, I’m sure this young lady would have held a full fledge old fashion revival meeting at 30,000 feet in the air. As it was she continued, in a sort of stage whisper voice, to pray for my salvation all the way from Houston to Phoenix were fortunately I changed plans for the final leg of my trip.

Lois Grebowski said...

EWWWWWWWWWWWWW! That's all I gotta say about that.

::shudder::

Desert Songbird said...

Ugh. I think I gagged just reading your first two stories.

Oh, and just so you know, I'd NEVER sing for anyone on the plane, even if I knew you. I'm not one to impose myself on others, even though I sing pretty well. *wry smile*

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh no rick! she licked that finger???? oh my gosh! oh my gosh. just oh. my. gosh...

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

kenju said...

I can't think of any to top yours. My daughter is on a trip to the Galapagos right now, and being a germophobe like you, I am sure she will have some tales to tell.

© Karelian Blonde said...

Too numerous to mention! But usually there are drunks, infants or just otherwise stupid and/or ignorant people involved.

That sandwich story nearly made me hurl my breakfast *shivers*

We are but many in this world....

Sheila said...

Maybe you are a germ-a-phobe, but I'm not and those stories are totally beyond good common sense, which is rather in short supply these days. I can't top 'um but they do make good blog fodder. Safe and sanitary travels, Rick.

A Lewis said...

Oh boy, now you've struck a nerve...a the funny bone too! Being a flight attendant, I've got a million of these sorts of stories.....remind me to spend a few minutes giggling with you when we have dinner together in the future. Hehehehe

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, I'm with you on ALL of these Rick! One and Two were disgusting beyond belief, and three was just plain rude! In fact...ALL of them are Rude in a way. People have become so oblivious to anyone else around them that it is rather frightening in the ramifications of same. Talk about the Me, Me. Me Generation...! OY VEY!

WAT said...

This is the problem with living on an overpopulated planet full of utter morons. I don't have travel tales because I hardly ever travel, but these stories you have shared sound like utter nightmares. Not everyone can be as well-behaved and mannered as you and I are Rick. I ain't no special rich haughty bastard, but I know how to conduct myself I believe in public.

Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.

No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin or residence. The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.