the traveller’s worst nightmare

We have just landed and we, my husband and I, thank our Lord God that we did. We both commented that it would have to be the worst four hour flight we have ever experienced.

childI don’t mind children being on the same flight as me. I don’t mind if they cry, especially if their ears hurt because of the cabin pressure.

But there was a child on board who began crying, even before the doors of the plane were shut, so cabin pressure was not an issue. And it wasn’t just a child-like cry. It was a throaty, rasping, shouting cry. And the child cried from before the plane moved until we were well into the air, maybe around thirty or forty minutes.

5x5onaplaneThen there was the passenger who sat next to me: five by five (height/width), maybe early forties, black clothes, long blonde/grey hair in a ponytail, tattooed, bebangled wrist, beflamed baseball cap on backwards – then forwards over his eyes when he slept, very noisily.

At first I tried to make light friendly conversation, as one does when one is seated next to a stranger on a plane. His response: ‘Humph’. Great light friendly conversation killer.

Now these characteristics, and even the killer ‘Humph’, would not normally bother me at all, but when one allows the fumy fallout of what one had for dinner to erupt into my limited and inescapable airspace, I become bothered and prejudiced. Of course, I checked with hubby first to make sure that my prejudice was not misplaced. It wasn’t.

Then, about an hour and ten from our destination, the child again began its cry: the same throaty, rasping, shouting cry, this time with the word ‘Mum’ interspersed. This continued until we landed.

Then the mum decided she would leave the aircraft during a short break in the outgoing procession. But once in the aisle, the child decided it did not want to leave. The mother had to be told several times by the steward to take her child aside while the other passengers disembarked.

As we walked out I noticed that child was a little girl probably eighteen months to two years old, standing very placidly holding her mother’s hand.

I feel sorry for the young mum who obviously has little or no skills in pacifying her terrified/naughty/undisciplined (not sure which) child. I feel no sympathy for the 5×5 who could not get out of the plane fast enough – probably with good reason.

My many flights over the last several years have been, on the whole, great. I guess the law of averages had to come into play sometime.


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I am a Christian and my purpose in life is to give honour to the Lord Jesus Christ in all I do and say.

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