Sunday, July 08, 2007

planes suck

ok I'm at an airport kiosk... can you say addicted?

I'd like to think when this beautiful handspun wool becomes a sweater that I will love and cherish it for years to come. I'd like to believe that when I wear it, I'll be able to block out of my mind the 4" knit while flying from Pgh to SanFrancisco (first leg) The vacationing families from hell were all around us. Once we were able to switch seats to avoid various deli items being passed over our heads it got a little better... just for a few minutes.

I am sure that the people around me were likely lovely human beiigs when not airborne. But as I was smelling the body odor and feeling the pressure of their bodies against my knees and their overhead outstretched arms bumping into my knitting needles, I was pretty sure I didn't want to find out.

... did I just hear Dad refer to "Seattle, Oregon?"

Perhaps I need to perceive the 11 rows of 258 stitches as all that stood between myself and an ugly incident with a sky marshall. Would that Miss Manners could form a traveling squad of ettiquette marshalls hired to slap people in the head (like in the V-8 commercials) for the various offenses experienced for the last 5 hours.

As I am clearly goog to be blogging while traveling, I'd like to make it interesting for everyone else. Hence my first contest.

What's the worst public transportation travel story you've got? ENtries will be accepted from now until our return July 18. Judging will be done by Husband Bob the good husband. Prize will be some lovely souvenir sock yarn yet to be found in an unknown LYS. I'll be sure to make it worth your while. I'm going to need to do plenty of good stuff for all of the ugly karmic vibes I had going on for the last 5 hours of my life..

...hey kids.. there's a reason they call them HEAD phones not SPEAKERS!

DId I mention 5 hours?
Spread the word. Let's hear those stories


Jen said...

I've traveled a lot a lot. Most of my air travel woes involve delayed or cancelled flights or tight connections - ultimately I've run quite a few miles through airports with too much luggage. I've also left wallets on planes in South Africa, and a bandmate once left his return ticket in in the seat pouch.

In spite of all this, flying is usually my preferred method. It's driving (namely sitting in traffic) that makes me crazy. From not being able to get a hotel room on a drive from New Orleans to Montreal (the return trip with a friend who decided not to talk to me anymore for a reason I still don't know) to countless wasted hours on the New Jersey turnpike.

Still, THE WORST was a woman on a flight from San Fran to Hawaii. I was visiting my parents when my Dad was still stationed there. I was next to a old Chatty Patty who was visiting her daughter and son-in-law who had just moved there (Air Force move, I think). She got it in her head that she wanted to show me all the presents she was bringing them. So, she moves her snack and Coke to my tray so she can rummage around underneath the seat in front of her (didn't actually ask to do this, mind you). As she was lifting some tea pot up to show me, she managed to knock her *full* Coke into my lap. No apology or nothing. In fact, she pretended not to notice that she did it. She pretended not to notice my reaction to cold liquid in my lap (soaked jeans are never fun). And she conveniently never retrieved her empty cup from my tray. I was all of 21 years old and still had blanket respect for older people (I've got the clue now), and just sucked it up and never said anything to her. The stewardess was real sweet about it though.

Recently, on a flight back to AMS, we went through a lot of turbulence and I was in the very back of the plane. I thought I was going to hurl myself, but a poor little Kenyan boy in the row diagonal across from me actually did throw up all over himself. He was old enough to be humiliated by it, but young enough that he still needed his mom to help him. She was actually mad at him, which made the rest of us in the vicinity really pissed off. Needless to say, the smell was awful. Thankfully one guy started passing out mints - which really do help with nausea.

kmkat said...

I too once left my return ticket in the seat back pouch. Can you say $800 down the toilet?

I had pretty much blocked that out until I read the first comment; that reminded me. In fact, I think I promptly forget the bad things (mostly) so instead I'll tell you my best traveling story.

I didn't work when my boys were little (they are now 18 and 22), so my husband watched the airlines' fire sales. Whenever he found a cheap trip (<$150 round trip) to Florida, the littlies and I would fly off to visit Gramma and Grampa for a week. No great horror stories from those many trips, but traveling with 2 kids under 5, no matter how well-behaved, is not the most fun way to travel.

One year all of us flew down for Christmas. My husband, bless his generous heart, said he would take charge of both boys during the flight and I could sit on the other side of the aisle and pretend I didn't know them and I was free to give them dirty looks any time one of the boys got a little loud. It was a great flight.

Yarnhog said...

Ugh. Sorry about that. Coming up with my own "worst" may take a little while. I'm pretty sure it will involve flying on domestic Aeroflot in Russia. I hope the ground part of your trip is much, much better!

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Lets see. I love trains, LOVE em, but my worst incident takes place on a train. When I was in Art College, I use to take the Via Rail train from Calgary to Vancouver for spring break. It was cheap and usually there were enough of us traveling that it was fun too. This particular trip, I developed a very nasty case of, Ahem, Cystytis it quickly turned into a full blown bladder infection. Yep, I was so miserable I couldn't sit down so I walked up and down the train in my fevered state peeing in every single bathroom from Calgary to Vancouver. Beat That!!

Kim said...

I have had many crappy travel experiences so I must think about which on might be a prize winner. I'll be back to tell the tale! Have a great trip!

lowelee said...

Just as an afterthought! No wonder you hate planes! I remember I had a daughter fly her first flight with me and her younger sister. She had orange juice and a muffin on the plane. Unfortunately, by the end of the flight, she threw up all over me and the bag she was holding. Not my worst flight, but an interesting note to why you may not like planes.

uberstrickenfrau said...

I dunno if this is the worst,but here goes....About 17 years ago we won a trip to club Med in Mexico from the place my husband worked at then, anyway, we had traded tickets with this other guy cause he coule come the days he had and we thought the company took care of the name trade and everything was ok. So the day we are to leave we are at this tiny little airport trying to get on the plane and they wouldn't let us because our tickets didnot match the name on the plane list, they made us sit and wait till every last person boarded before allowing us too. With great releif we got on the plane and the engines started and the plane began to roll, we were so happy to be leaving, then the plane turned around and went back to the gate and Federalas got on with machine guns and the flight attendent started calling my husbands name over the loud speaker to come forward. Everyone on the plane turned to look at us. My husband, shaking, whispered to me, " Pretend you don't know me and don't get off this plane!" He went up to the front and the flight attendent demanded to see his ticket. He handed her the ticket and she flings it back to him and starts saying really loud, " YOUR TICKET! LET ME SEE YOUR TICKET!" He's totally freaked now, he hands the other ticket stuff and she does something to it and hands it back and tells him," They took the wrong return ticket, they took your ticket from Tucson to Alb. I fixed it now. go sit down." He sits down and the planes finally leaves and when we got to Tucson, he got off the plane and kissed the hot tarmac in 103degree weather. Funnie, we've never been back....

uberstrickenfrau said...

I guess this should be a lesson to proof read before you hit send! We were leaving Mexico after our stay when this happen.

Lydee said...

The evil, sadistic airplane pilot who thought he was manuvering an amusement park ride. He dropped the plane like we were going to land and then swerved sharply to the left. My stomach was still up and to the right. I threw up, strangers were next to me and the flight host acted like I was spreading the plague.

Even worse, we had to make a connecting flight and I ended up in the waiting area next to someone's insulated box of lobster. Blach!

Faith! said...

Ooh! Great question! Once when flying from Florida to New Jersey, we experienced severe turbulence. Then there was an announcement that we were detouring over land, instead of the ocean. We were in the back row and were puzzled to discover two of the flight attendants behind a curtain on their knees weeping and praying loudly, "God, please don't let us die!" Apparently, some vital parts had fallen out and we were detouring in case we had to make an emergency. Everything turned out fine, but there was a pervasive feeling of "is this for real?" the entire time.

Quail Hill Knits said...

This happened when I was 26 years old. I was born in New Mexico (for those of you who are familiar with the United States, it IS a state despite its name). I had traveled to Jamaica. At that time you didn't need a passport to enter or leave the country -- just a birth certificate and driver's license. We were boarding the flight to return from vacation and had to go through customs. The AMERICAN official who checked my documents looked at the birth certificate and then asked for my green card (a document you need is you are a Mexican citizen wishing to enter the US legally). I told him I was an American citizen. He handed me my birth certificate and said that I was not, I was born in Mexico. I told him I was born in NEW MEXICO and it was a state. He told he it wa not and directed me to sit in a small room. There I sat.....and sat.....and sat some more. The flight left. I tried to talk to the other customs agents but was rebuffed in a not very nice manner. Finally, after 4 hours, a supervisor came in. He opened the folder on the door, looked at my birth certificate, then said "Oh, you were born in the US. You can go." That was it. No apology, no anything. My flight was gone so I asked how we were going to get back. He shrugged his shoulders and told me to talk to the airlines. The airline said that it wasn't their fault I had missed the flight so I would have to buy a new ticket at triple the cost of what I had paid for the entire round trip ticket. Now, I wasn't a lawyer then and didn't have that amount of money available to me. I ended up calling a lot of friends and family in the US (thank god for telephone credit cards) who got the funds together and paid for a ticket. I was so happy to finally get on the flight home. I have been back to Jamaica several times since. It is a lovely country. But now I always carry a US passport instead of a birth certificate when I travel abroad.

The_Add_Knitter said...

Oh my gosh, the above entries are all so completely priceless!!

My most hideous travel experience was in Morocco. I was living in Marrakech with my then in-laws. My FIL was a very important, imposing sort, NOT the kind of person you say 'no' to. I was taking the bus to Rabat and he made me take a gigantic jar of honey with me for the relatives (Moroccans are obsessed with bringing gifts to one another, it's totally mandatory). So I put the jar of honey in the luggage rack above the seats, and at some point it started slowly dripping on the passengers below who started shrieking and panicking. One woman in particular became completely hysterical. A huge melee ensued and the bus driver pulled the bus over and demanded to know whose honey it was...because I was terrified, you can imagine that I didn't say a word!! When we arrived, the woman who had the honey all over her decided that she had a right to it, so she took it. Greatest humiliation: I arrived empty handed, but everyone had a huge laugh at my expense, so I guess it was worth the trauma...

5elementknitr said...

Squeaking in under the wire, I hope! I've been trying to think of public trans. stories!

Let's see. There's the time when I was 19 and on a bus. I fell asleep and missed my stop. The bus driver woke me at the end of the line and made me get off the bus. He wouldn't take me back even though he had to pass all those same stops going back to the terminal! I had to walk almost 5 miles to get home.

Then there's the big, fat, smelly, old taxi driver in Germany who thought it was OK to put his hand on my knee. I showed him it wasn't. I put my Army training to use and gave him a wicked thumb-twisting move. I held his hand like that the whole way back to my base (only about a 5 min. drive) and when we stopped, I said, "So this ride's free [harder twist], right?" He agreed it was.

Lastly, our plane ride home from our wedding in Tahoe:
We (Dave, Ty (our best man) and myself) were in the front seats of the plane, you know, the ones that face the other three front seats? They moved some people around so that there was a family of four sitting across from us. Mom, Dad, Screaming 4 year old son, and Overly Friendly 2 year old daughter. The boy kept kicking Dave (who was hiding behind a newspaper) until I finally reached over, put my hands across his legs and said, "Stop." I dunno, I kept thinking maybe HIS PARENTS would do it. Silly me.

The daughter thought it was a fun game to walk back and forth across everyone's shoes. I had on my brand new white-w/blue-flowers sneakers that were my wedding shoes. The mom thought it was real cute, "She seems to like your shoes." I thought, but didn't say, "Yea. So do I. Can you get your kid OFF them?"

That's all I got!