I’ve been topping up my karmic footprint in the past few days, indulging in what Alan Whicker would have dubbed a jet-set lifestyle. And as the recycled, H1N1-drenched air slowly poisoned my brain, a few thoughts seeped through:
1.) I simply don’t comprehend the prevailing neurosis about unflattering passport photos. Surely it’s the flattering ones that should cause the most distress? My own picture dates from 2004, a point at which I could muster respectably pointy cheekbones and enough hair to concoct a pompadour that might offer Little Richard a run for his money. In fact, I look pretty cute in it, if I say so myself. As a result, whenever I present it at immigration, the polyester-swathed lackey’s eyes brim with pity, as if to say “You poor sod, what ungodly trauma blighted your once-carefree life over the past five years?”
2.) Talking of those grounded denizens of the airport, why do they insist on saying “Have a nice flight”? My tongue-jerk reaction is to say “You too”, which rather rubs in the fact that I’m about to fly off somewhere potentially interesting, while they’re just going to spend the next six hours looking at passports, checking in luggage, selling bottles of duty-free Scotch and the like. Must stop doing it.
3.) I understand that, when it comes to picking in-flight entertainment, airlines tend to avoid movies that include scenes of air crashes, hostage situations and the like. Surely it would also be tactful to avoid exposing economy-class travellers to films such as Julie and Julia, which is essentially about the joy to be had from the preparation and consumption of delicious food. I mean, that’s just cruel.
4.) Between flights, my sleep cycle is inevitably buggered up. I find myself leaping fully awake at about 4 in the morning, then crashing out again shortly after lunch. All well and good, except that this would only make sense if I’d been flying from Trinidad, or possibly Tasmania. Which I wasn’t. Jet lag I can deal with, but I’ve never before suffered from someone else’s jet lag.