Monday, December 9, 2013

The Perils Of Traveling Economy

For sixteen years I called Dubai home. I still do, with more feeling behind it now. I study in India and these bouts of homesickness hits me from nowhere. For example,  I will be sitting in class, paying attention and then APROSEXIA (Google it) hits and I'll be daydreaming the usual (meaning some guy from some book i'm having a crush on and me in some romantic setting, occasionally fighting the bad guys, always ending with me being called the hero) when suddenly the scene changes and I'm walking in  some park in Dubai at around 5:30 in the evening (I don't know why my aprosexia - addled brain bothers with the timestamp, but there you go), with no particular destination in my mind. I have to fly to Dubai every six months else I'll be entangled in some visa nonsense - for which I THANK GOD EVERYDAY else my miser of a dad (who apparently loves me in such a way that won't somehow tear a hole in his pocket) would leave me to the mercy of my hostel warden in India. So this frequent traveling business warrants an economical setup so hey  - welcome to the joy of traveling economy.

What I Get
What I Want

1) The queues: THE QUEUES. The families, with their luggage that violate the max weight norms who murder my patience as they reorganize their luggage, the ones who keep trying to intimidate me out of the line, the ones who run first to the queues while I stand around to figure where to go, and the annoyance that follows when the other line moves faster than yours are all part of the experience.
2) The screaming babies: You learn that blasting Miley Cyrus through your headphones fails to drown that background wailing.
3) The middle seat: The armrests end up being monoplized. Because you're too polite you don't say anything when the man on the one side starts snoring and the one on the other side can't seem to shut up. Or when it's a kid trying to peek into my tablet screen when I resort to tweeting all my frustration. Speaking of tweeting...
4) NO INTERNET: You open your text editor and type pretending your tweeting realtime.
5) No TV: Enough said.
6) The foldable trays: They are about as wide as my palm which people don't ever pass up the chance to categorize them as the smallest they've ever seen on an eighteen year old. After a period of regularly traveling economy, you learn how to balance the various components of your food tray on top of one another. The complication occurs when your partners-in-flight don't know the same and you spend an agonizing half hour trying to avoid the trays on either side that threaten to spill onto you. Which, trusting your screwed up luck, might just happen.
7) The much flexible seat (please note the sarcasm): My skill to adapt has now made me an expert at falling asleep upright. This new-found skill has come very much in handy especially during those Sunday masses when the priest gets a bit carried away with the sermon and stubbornly ignores the clock.
8) The in-flight meals: Science, I'm TOTALLY allowing your theory that taste buds neglect their duties at high pressure. But, from experience, traveling first class gives enough incentive for my taste buds to work harder. And I keep wishing that maybe this time, Masterchef decided to pick my flight for one of their episodes.
9) I'm sorry, but do we get all the flight attendants that piss me off? No seriously. "Ma'am I'm going to have to kidnap your bag to lock it up in the overhead cabins". I blink, my bag's gone and so is he.

The Perks of Traveling Economy:

1) Lower ticket fare: This single-handedly outweighs the Perils so yay I'm going to spend another couple of years flying economy.

To all my brothers and sisters in this exercise in Patience,

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