Travelling can be incredibly entertaining, and often it pays to ‘walk on the lighter side of life’ when flying, particularly if you have to traverse multiple airports across multiple continents.
I have just stepped off three consecutive flights, the first of which originated in Cape Town, the second in Johannesburg and then finally disembarking in Melbourne. Not quite home yet, but about 9 hours closer than yesterday (or is that today).
I love to observe people on planes, because the environment offers a wonderful capsule in which to capture people at their best, worst and sometimes strangest.
Here is a little snap shot of my ‘people watching’ during the flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. There are more stories to come, but this one was particularly amusing.
In the seat behind mine sat a mid 40’s woman, obviously well heeled, in her Gucci and Prada sporting a late model Blackberry. This was possibly the only reference to a lower rung on the social ladder, as I consider blackberry technology more befitting the common folk than the elite (some may hate me for that). She sat down and within 30 seconds her phone was vibrating and belting out some strange ring tone, possibly one that reminded her of her youth.
She answered and the conversation that followed had me enthralled.
Apparently according to her, she was in a much better ‘space’ than she was the previous day. In fact she had left the ‘poor little old me space’ and entered the ‘confident and assured space’ (these were her words). I found this amusing as she was currently sitting in a coke can with wings, and I actually found it a little confined. According to her, everyone on the plane needed to understand the transition between these spaces, which involved a cathartic therapy session, her dogs being taken to the groomer and the purchase of a new pair of Prada glasses. All of these things had changed the ‘space’ in which she lived (apparently).
The recipient of this phone call was obviously currently assessing her ‘space’ situation and there was significant council from my blackberry wielding travelling companion. Her space (being the caller) was much more limiting, because she had a wayward partner, a delinquent son and an insufficient supply of suitably expensive clothes. Shopping, a night out with the girls (or perhaps ladies) and possibly putting the child into a ‘facility’ were the order of the day according to Mrs Blackberry who had just revealed, the callers marital status, parental and social situation to 200 other travellers.
I wasnt the only one aware of this very loud conversation taking place and the gentleman next to me was muttering words under his breath like ‘mad’ and ‘cow’ – obviously a Kiwi. I could see that his space was growing decidedly smaller by the second.
I then started to assess my ‘space’ situation, wondering if the ‘space’ I was in was sufficiently large, small or needed some adjustment. I was trying to work out whether I should buy a dog to groom, if my daughter who is 3 months may end up wayward or if I needed to go shopping, but the din coming from the blackberry speaker was incredibly distracting .
Not more than 30 seconds in to my ‘space assessment situation’ all of the spaces in the plane collided as the possible Kiwi in the seat next to me, leaned over to the seat behind and not so politely asked the woman on the blackberry to ‘shut it’.
Clearly the space in the plane wasn’t big enough for the both of them…I wonder if he has a wayward, cheating, un-groomed dog lying about the house?