Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, June 01, 2008

France 2008 - travel tip 2

UPGRADE. Sure, it's $2000 more than economy but you're worth it, right?
I had forgotten the (literal) pain of a flight longer than 4 hours, sitting in economy. And I think they have moved the seats closer together (front to back) compared with my last long flight across the Atlantic in 1996, and they were tight back then. I could not bend forward to untie my shoes. My head hit the back of the chair in front of me. And when the person in front "reclined" (even if you only get to go back a few inches), it felt like an invasion of my personal space.

Flying east, I thought about the airline executives who made the decision to cram another three people into that metal tube and I decided they should be tried for their crimes against humanity and sentenced to sit in economy seats. Flying west, I thought if you strapped a monkey into one of those seats and made it sit there for 6 or 7 hours, you would have the animal rights people all over you. But we put up with it because we understand. Good grief. When we got to Paris, my ankles had swelled up like grapefruits and I couldn't see the ankle bones at all. Interestingly, they hardly swelled on the way home. I suppose it was a combination of factors - the flight over was a night flight during which I hardly slept at all, I was dehydrated and I was tense, man. Anyway.

They tell you to get up and walk around the cabin but that's always complicated by the drinks cart being in the aisle half the time. It was further complicated on the way home by the fact that we were in seats A and B of three abreast and C, the aisle seat, was occupied by a cranky older woman whose face was permanently set into a frown (I checked and she looked like that when she was sleeping too). Soon after take-off, we both needed to pee and so we indicated that we needed her to stand up and let us out. She did, but with a singular lack of grace. Getting in and out of seats also isn't easy because you cannot stand up straight but had to hunch your way in, bending to fit yourself around the seat in front. When we got back, we wondered if we'd be able to pee again during the flight. Luckily, she decided to get up some hours later and walk around so we made a sprint for the bathroom then, so as not to inconvenience her. Some people should just get over themselves.

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