Plane travel and the real “Dick Move”

Plane travel and the real “Dick Move”
Welcome to my first rant.

I enjoy reading other people’s travel blogs – you’ll notice I have a page up top where I list some of my favorite blogs.

This week I came across a blog that was recognized as one of Time magazine’s 2011 blogs of the year. She has a “dick move” section which I was curious about, wondering what a “dick move” was. I came across this story where she describes a fellow traveller, a guy occupying a window seat, as a “douchbag”, an “asshole”, and as “heinous and rotten and selfish”.

http://www.everywhereist.com/dick-move-inconsiderate-window-seat-guy/

So what did this guy do? Did he constantly have to get up to go to the bathroom? Did he spread himself out, monopolizing the middle seat? Did he constantly fart? (as she, the writer, has a propensity to do according to another of her stories).

No, he didn’t. His egregious mistake was that he kept his window blind open. And then I thought – hey, that’s what I do! I’ve never closed a plane window in my life and I would never consider it. Maybe people think I’M a douchbag and an asshole!

99% of the people on this planet never get the opportunity to ever get on a plane. Most of the other 1% probably do so once or twice a year. Believe it or not, plane travel is a luxury. Where else do you get an opportunity to see the world from that vantage point and see the beauty of the earth from the sky? I still get excited seeing changes in geography, suddenly seeing snow-capped mountains rising from a green plain or seeing the different shades of water in the Caribbean. Even clouds can be exciting. So I ASK for a window seat on those occasions when I get to travel and I look forward to seeing the geography unfolding below me as we approach a new destination. I can watch a stupid Hollywood movie anywhere – most of the time I’m looking out of the window. I actually find its kind of meditative looking out of the window, the sun warming my face. On earth everything is buzzing everywhere and there’s no peace, up here all is quiet and I often mind myself reflecting on different things. Maybe I’m just strange.

Back to the post – So I’m sorry if you can’t sleep, but it’s not my problem. I’m a paying customer too. Maybe you should have brought eye covers and earplugs. They sell them in any airport you know.

“We stood, flapping our arms to get the guy’s attention”. If you had gotten up and started waving at me, publicly embarrassing me, I would have not so gently told you to go fuck yourself. The proper thing to do is to come to me and politely ask me if I could close my window blind. I would still have said no but would do it nicely.

Really, this post is a reflection of all that is wrong with travel, and society in general, today. I look back to 30 years ago when people would show up for an international flight dressed nicely, well groomed. Getting on a long haul flight was an event (Hygiene is also always a good thing when people are in tight spaces. It’s called courtesy). Now I see people getting in planes wearing flip-flops and shorts, or sweatpants, smelling and looking dirty. I see people waiting for their flights, splayed out over a whole range of benches as they try to sleep. Come on people, suck it up, believe me when I tell you that people don’t die from not having slept for 30 hours. And if you’re that tired you can fall asleep sitting up. Show some pride. Now all is “me, me, me” and of other people having to have their space or liberties infringed upon because others feel inconvenienced. All I’m doing is enjoying the view from my window seat – as I mentioned before maybe you should have thought of  bringing those eye covers. Prepare yourself in consequence, don’t ask me to give up something that gives me pleasure.

And maybe you can stop farting. Now THAT’S a real dick move (and nowhere comparable to keeping a window open). Go to the bathroom – farting is usually caused by a lump of shit stewing in your belly.

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Since I’m getting sentimental about old time plane travel (I was actually sitting down to write a rant on USAir before getting distracted by the above post) I started thinking of my most memorable flight ever. I was 18 (this was back in 1987), a university student, when I flew to meet my mom in Lusaka, Zambia. I flew Montreal to Paris with Air France where I connected to another French airline, UTA, for the flight to Lusaka. UTA was an exotic airline, they went to all these strange places that the major airlines didn’t cover. This particular flight stopped in Libreville (Gabon), Brazzaville (Congo), Lusaka, with the final destination being Lilongwe (Malawi).  I remember looking out the window, amazed by the red African earth below and the strange cloud formations of the tropics. They treated you well back then, I remember the food being fantastic (filet mignon, croissants, and all the wine I could drink. That was pretty cool for a student). The flight was also memorable because it took off hours after the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie. Ironically, UTA suffered from a similar bombing in 1999 when a flight from Brazzaville to Paris was brought down (later attributed to Libya). UTA was never the same after and was taken over by Air France.

UTA-747

A few photos from the sky:

A. Mexico 002 (2)

Above: Mexico City

taking off from Charles de Gaulle, Paris

Above: Central France, departing Paris


You’ve probably figured out by now that I think views from a plane window are marvelous. I think we are privileged to have the opportunity to see the earth from this vantage point.
What’s your opinion?

 

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Comments

  1. My brother recently flew out to Japan and was accompanied by two grumpy friends who were continually complaining about how long it took for the flight attendants to bring round drinks. It is sad how easily we lose the sense of awe of being able to travel long distances with such ease. As you rightly say – it is not available for everyone, it remains a privilege. I often think that one of humanity’s greatest strengths is how quickly it adapts to change, and simultaneously its weakness is how quickly it becomes ungrateful when the change is positive.

  2. My one reply to this is. Don’t you travel with an eye mask and earplugs? I do and everyone should. Be in control of your own destiny – because there are dicks the world over!!
    Mary Calculated Traveller recently posted…STM Cable Wrap – ReviewMy Profile

    • Hi Mary. Yes I do just in case – the earplugs because you never know when you end up an aisle away from a crying baby or a couple of drunks. I rarely use the eye mask unless it’s a long haul flight.But like you say, be in control of your destiny – don’t blame others!

  3. I totally agree with you, I absolutely love looking out the window when I am flying. If they don’t like it tough shit. If you’re a person who gets easily irked then you should be more prepared…
    Angela Moreau recently posted…20 Random Photos of Places I’ve VisitedMy Profile

  4. What a great post! I also request a window seat when I fly. There is something special about leaving Asia at sunset only to be greeted a few hours later by the sunrise in North America!! It’s very enjoyable to sit with a free small bottle of red wine and just enjoy the view from above! (Most airlines in Asia still offer free alcohol on international flights)
    Constance recently posted…Take a Walk on the ‘Gorge’ Side: An Up, Close, and Personal Look At Taroko GorgeMy Profile

  5. Love the shot of san andres! I usually prefer to take the window seat as well, and just gaze out once in a while. There was once I had even got a really good view of the stars when it was all dark!
    YJ recently posted…6 Reasons to TravelMy Profile

  6. I love looking out the window! I don’t think keeping the window shade open is a dick move at all. Surely this passenger wasn’t the only passenger with the window shade open. This sounds like one of those bloggers who thinks they are entitled simply because they write a blog.
    Jennifer recently posted…Cascate del Serio: Italy’s Highest WaterfallMy Profile

  7. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since I first found you – now you are at the top of my list! Great post and I agree 100% with all you said. I always keep the shade up – where else can I see the amazing view, But I do close it partly while over an ocean (yes, I do peak out over the vast nothingness and usually get blinded). I read her post and the way this should have been taken care of would have been to kindly ask him to lower it partly & explain why.. and if he still kept it up, use a shirt etc to cover your eyes. Of course – such an experienced traveler should know to pack an eye mask. My guess is that the ‘dick move’ post is all about publicity.. a tad due to her age and just maybe her head is swelled from being – top blog whatever it was.
    Paula Wheeler recently posted…Traveling Smart: My First Experience Using AirbnbMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much Paula, I’m blushing from the compliment :) It’s true what you say; maybe we went a little over the top because of her age and I guess appeals to a certain demographic.

  8. David F. says:

    I came across your blog while researching some things to do with my kids when we pass through Montreal this summer and I continued reading some of your other posts until I stumbled on this one. I loved your comments about air travel!

    However, I have to add that the demise of glamor in air travel is shared equally by the greedy bastards running the airlines and their continued efforts to squeeze more people into airplanes while nickle and diming them with ridiculous fees. In case you haven’t noticed, the airlines are now in the gambling business as well. For example, if you want to make a bet that you won’t change your intinery, you can book the lowest-price fare. But if you’re wrong, the airlines get to charge you a hefty “change fee”, even if you make the change on-line, all by yourself, with no effort on their part whatsoever.
    Nonetheless, my kudos on a funny, insightful and relevant blog!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks David for taking the time to browse the site. Hope some of those posts helped you out.

      I totally agree as far as the airlines. I’ve written a few things about getting screwed, here and here. I’m not at all happy with the airlines at all these days, they’ve got us by the balls and regulators just letting them get away with a lot.
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Is Bratislava worth a day trip from Vienna?My Profile

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