In the process of getting home, be it on the flight, in the airport or ground transport, I always find some interesting similarities between all of my travel experiences. Although it’s only been 4 months since I’ve traveled from the States, how can I forget the humorous and reality stricken moments that always seem to occur in transit.
Like I said, not all moments are humorously amusing. In fact, some instances are straight up reality checks of how different the world still is and that some individuals, who shall remain nameless, continuously limit their mindsets and ignorant thinking patterns. Now, you can take that how you want it but as an African-American woman who travels internationally, my cultural sensitivities are heightened a bit more than my not so traveled sisters and brothers or my European neighbor standing next to me. Again, these are merely my observations so please stay while I share some of my humorous yet frustrating antics about the transit process of going home.
One of my pet peeves is nosy people. It’s bad enough that we have to share a public wifi connection. To make matters worse, if you’re one of those techy creeps then you’ve probably already tapped into all of my scripted passwords, network files and browser history, all unbeknownst to me. You try to discretely peer over my shoulder, cautiously trying to avoid being caught while investigating my on goings. Hmmm…
Then, during the routine security check, I get stopped for a nearly empty bottle of Dove body spray. I often wonder the theories of these security control freaks because I still can’t figure out how in the world I can get explosive substances in a Dove body spray bottle? Is Dove apart of the political conspiracy now??? Don’t mind me…again, moving on!
Here’s the kicker… rude and insensitive flight attendants! Geesh! You work for the public for God’s sake. Besides, your clientele consists of people from all over the world who come from various ideologies, theories and kick your ass kind of tactics. By the way, don’t let the smile fool you…I do have a bite with my bark if you tempt me. For starters, this one flight attendant asked me to put my bag under the chair but I guess I was moving a bit too fast or inefficiently for his taste so he decides to assist me by pushing my bag with his foot. How dare you put your foot on my bag, you____! (Ok, I’ll be nice).
What’s the point of assigning seats on flights when people decide to sit wherever they want, not taking into consideration the seat number clearly marked on the boarding pass? Well, that also happened to me on my first leg. I waded down the aisle, which was entangled with people who obviously thought they were the only ones who existed on the flight since they continuously blocked the way, only to discover a family of three sitting there.
I kindly informed them that it was my seat after all which was followed by the infamous, “Are you sure?” At this point, seeing that it was 4:30 a.m., I pulled out my boarding pass to determine whether or not I was tripping which was completely possible at that time of the morning. In actuality, I’d be willing to move my seat, seeing that there were two gentlemen and a young girl sitting there. It reminded me of my travels with Chris: Always having to ask people to move so that we could sit together if some idiots didn’t realize that he was my child during the flight booking. I remember dealing with those difficult people at times with their self-righteous attitudes and indigent responses. I remember wanting to bash their heads in because of their insensitivities. Because of my negative experiences, I wanted to make every effort to be nice, reasonable and as flexible as possible. Come to find out, the entire family’s seat was actually confirmed a row across from 17 C. In aghast, I said to myself again…I think they should just let us all fiend for ourselves like the bus, train or other form of transportation at this point since it’s becoming less of a requirement to follow common boarding rules. What do you think?
Moving on again…
So what happens when your bladder’s had enough of the juice, tea and coffee runs that are routinely provided for you during flights? Even further, what happens when the juice, coffee and tea tray blocks the aisle, both ways for that matter, preventing you from passing so that you can’t go to the toilet? Another woe of my travels. Waiting sucks so I keenly have to watch for a break through moment so I can expeditiously shimmy my hips down the aisle in haste.
This is my first time off the continent in 4 months. Although I am around various nationalities in Kampala, I’ve noticed that perspectives, attitudes and stares somehow change in transit, especially during layovers in European countries.
I almost forgot how people’s lack of exposure or too much of it, has left certain individuals with dumbfounded glares when passing other skin tones, facial features, hair textures…well you get the point. You may travel a lot but not everyone is cultured. One thing Kampala has taught me is to be a thick skinned kinda chick. Being in a country where you look different in some regards, whether it be through complexion, attitudes, swag or accent, you learn quick how to adjust to your surroundings as yourself, regardless of others’ opinions. Although it seems as if I’m meticulously dissecting each moment of my transit experience, I often look at these random musings as reflections of my overall experience as an avid traveler. Now, this was just my first leg experience. In the meantime, I’ll sit back, relax, write, enjoy, laugh, wonder, people watch and undeniably live life the best way I know how: in the moment.
Until next time, be blessed and safe travels.