Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I love being on international flights. I really can’t pin down the reason for it. I like entering the airport and looking at the list of exciting destinations to which people are flying out today. I look at passengers and wonder where they are flying and why. Maybe they came down here on business and are going back home. They must be NRI’s returning abroad – I can make out they are NRI’s by their kids accents and the way they dress. Oh, some backpackers too. They must be from Israel.

I peer discreetly (or so I think) at passports, to figure out which country they belong to. The dark blue Indian one usually doesn’t interest me – I hold one too so it’s not really of much special interest. But I look at other passports and wonder what they are doing here in India, and where are they going next and why. I look at airlines from across the world, flying to places across the world, places I’ve dreamt of sometimes but never been too, and I feel a thrill run through me, just because I am here.

And then I enjoy checking out airport facilities, especially when I am in transit. And for this reason, I specially love the Singapore airport. Free internet portals, okay. Lots of coffee shops, books stores and unfamiliar eateries. Free massage chairs and even a free cinema theatre. Oh, and a swimming pool! I feel sometimes like a child let loose in a candy shop, I enjoy exploring airports so much. I walk by these exclusive designer stores where I can never afford anything, gasp at the prices and wonder who these people are and what they do to spend money like this on a name – I don’t think I would swear by the brands of the world, however rich I may become.

I am unreasonably curious about the uniform and seating colours if I am flying a new airline. My love of airline cuisine is legendary, and if it’s a well known airline, I start wondering about what they serve on board from the day I book my flight! (There have been occasions when I have paid a lot of extra money for an airline which served food on broad, whereas a low cost airline plus a full fledged meal would have worked out much cheaper – but then, I have an absurd love of airline food).

Well, my love for airline food actually deserves a post in itself so I’ll leave it at that. If I am flying an international flight and know that the flight has an international entertainment system, I plan ahead about how many movies I would watch, how many television shows and how much I would sleep. In the end, it all depends on what’s on offer once I’m on board but I do love the planning. I even open the airline website before I fly, just to see what they have to say for themselves.

Earlier, this intense charm that flying held for me was for all flights, international or domestic. However, over the past few years, as domestic flying became affordable and I came to a point where I was flying about once or twice a month, the charm of flying in general lost out. I still enjoy the meals and look forward to them, but that’s about it. However, I am hardly a frequent international travel – these trips happen once or twice a year at most so I still have a great fancy for international flights – my delight is almost childlike and I hope I can retain it over the years, because its good that such simple things give me so much pleasure.


Mihir said...

And i thought i was the only one who opened Airline websites to check In Flight Entertainment stuff :)

Anonymous said...

u like the exotic..there are many places in the world where the whole bar will be curious about u. Afterall, they only saw someone like you on TV....

aussieland has many hostels where u can meet fellow tourists and hop around with them

L said...

hmm...HE comments on blog posts of yours saying how much you both have in common...wake up and smell the love, woman!!!!

Ramya said...

@Mihir: Haha! What can I say? Join the club!

@Anon: Yeah, I guess I like the exotic. But to say that Australians have only seen someone like me on TV is way too much. There are loads of Indians here.

@BJ: Jealous, are we!

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