Not to be outdone by the often spectacular sunsets that India has to offer, I snapped this photo at about 7:30am which has the usual English Autumn morning mists with the sun desperately trying to break through. I’ve obviously brought the Indian weather home with me because it’s not supposed to be mid-high 20’s in October! Or as one person on Twitter pointed out: Greece, pay your bills and you can have your weather back!
When you’re kicking back after a hard day of arresting wayward businessmen who won’t kowtow to your corruption demands, feeding dog food to your army of conscripts (and then arresting the man who exposed it on spurious allegations), meeting despotic rulers of other countries, raiding foreign business offices, assassinating dissidents who dare to question the regime and rounding off the day by permanently silencing prying reporters; what better than to spend the evening in a quiet English pub, sipping on real English beer, in your English town, near to your English home, enjoying the civilities of England, all located on the outskirts of Moscow.
Part of being a grumpy young man is the ability to find something to annoy you in every conceivable situation. The situation that has been getting on my nerves recently is people’s Neanderthal like behaviour the moment they step on to an aircraft.
It first really came to my attention when I took low cost airlines around India (which, if you were to compare them to the no-frills crap we have in England is like a 5 star luxury travel experience). India is quite renowned as a nation of people who don’t follow the rules. This is quite understandable because if you tried to follow the rules, you’d never get anything done. However, it becomes particularly apparent on a low cost airline.
So yes, I thought it was specific to India, people’s behaviour on planes, but after taking some
crap no-frills airlines while back in England, I’ve been forced to reconsider this opinion.
This is my biggest annoyance. Everyone knows that they ask you to turn your phone off when you are on the plane, yet people insist on walking on to the plane on the phone, sending text messages, shooting off emails on their blackberry etc.
On the flight back to Chennai the guy next to me was sending messages all through the announcement about turning off your phone, it was done in English, Hindi and Tamil so he had no excuse other than being a knuckleheaded buffoon.
I understand that 99% of the time, use of your mobile phone has no bearing on the performance of the plane, but I have read stories whereby the pilot has been unable to communicate with the tower because of the buzzing interference of a mobile phone. Maybe I’ll get my pilot friend to comment further on this matter.
Anyway, the point is, I’m sure if everyone used their phone, there could well be some problems, you are not special, particularly if you are sitting in cattle class with me, so don’t be an ejit and use your phone.
But it gets worse, the moment the plane touches down, people nowadays seem to be so addicted to their mobiles to which one can probably draw comparisons with smokers and the urge to have a cigarette, because the plane is still on the runway and they pull out their mobile to check for messages! No one loves you anyway, so save it till you get in to the terminal. Oh and if you do get a message, don’t kid yourself, it’s only the local network welcoming you to the country.
Oh, this annoys me nearly as much as mobile phones do. The people who make use of the seat recliners are the sort who have no consideration and nothing but contempt for another human being. You can pick out the self-centered bastards of the world by those that choose to use the recliner, thus inconveniencing the person behind you who suddenly has an LCD TV shoved in to their face and even less room to move around in.
But what gets me more is that on every single bloody flight, the attendants ask you to put your seat in the upright position. So what’s the first thing these inconsiderate morons do when they board the plane? Recline their seat, I mean, what in God’s green Earth are they thinking? Anyone who’s been on a flight knows the seat has to be upright for take off, why tell everyone you’re an ignorant waste of space right from the start?
Again, I’ve been on a plane which is still on the ground and a cabin crew have asked someone to put their seat forward and not a few minutes later, they recline it again. What makes them think they are more special than someone else, other than winning the most inconsiderate award.
In my somewhat lopsided view, when I looked around the plane virtually everyone had their seats fully reclined, those that didn’t were mostly westerners. When I challenged some Indian friends on this, they replied that they recline their seat because they can, it hadn’t even occurred to them that it could possibly inconvenience the person behind them – something (not considering others) which I think is pervasive throughout Indian society simply because the sheer number of people forces you to do so.
So next time you are on a flight, don’t be an arsehole, leave your seat upright. If you want to sleep, stop being a cheapskate and upgrade to a class that lets you stretch out fully, don’t inflict your pig headedness on others just because you are too tight to pay for a better seat.
Does personal safety mean anything to anyone? Then why do the cabin crew have to come around and ask you to put your seatbelt on before take off?!
There must be some kind of psychological problem with some people, they have no fear of death but an irrational fear of being restrained or something because they don’t like wearing that seatbelt!
It’s like, as soon as the plane touches down, you hear the click of people removing their seatbelt and almost letting out a sigh of relief, as if they can finally breathe now the restraining belt can be removed.
And if that’s not enough, on flights in India, people are actually standing up before the plane has left the runway – leaving the poor cabin crew to beg and plead with people to sit back down!
Yes, I know that by now we all know where the doors are located on a plane and that the life jacket is located under the seat and in the event of an emergency we’ll all scream, panic and possibly do something involuntary but even so, keep quiet during the safety instructions!
This was a huge problem on the European flights, the safety notice began and people carried on talking, raising their voices to be heard over the PA system! Eventually the cabin crew had to ask everyone to be silent and started all over again. I’ve noticed on the internal Indian flights the passengers do give the cabin crew their full attention, although I feel this may have more to do with the fact that they are slim and very pretty rather than male, like in England!
I mean come on, would it actually kill you to be quiet for a few minutes while the cabin crew give some instructions which may save your life?
Bloody hell this annoys me. Why does it take some people 10 minutes to go to the toilet on a plane?! Especially when they can see a queue of people outside.
I think airlines should start charging for use of the toilet, your first 2 minutes is free, after that it is a £1 / $1 per minute. No one should be taking more than 5 minutes anyway! Not unless they are in the process of joining a certain exclusive club.
If you have an aisle seat, don’t complain when people get up!
In the day and age where you get to select your seat before you board, or in the case of the low-but-hidden-charges cost airlines a free for all once you get on the plane, if you choose an aisle seat, don’t complain when someone gets up to go to the toilet or has to wake you to get out!
On the way back to India, I saw one middle aged totally ignorant gentleman refuse to move to allow a lady (who was about 80) get out – the knucklehead of a man made her climb over and had the audacity to look put out by this!
The guy wasn’t the smallest and there was another bulky guy sitting next to him who also tried to get out, the comedy of seeing two fat guys trying to squeeze past each other, one stubbornly refusing to get up and the other trying to get through, it just made him look utterly ridiculous, I almost felt like saying to him, “what the hell, move you fool!”
So I don’t know what it is about air travel that makes people lose all sense of etiquette and consideration for others, maybe the irrational fear of flying overrides all other emotions and actions of people and turns them in to little balls of selfishness with not a thought for their fellow passenger.
What annoys you about air travel?!
So here I am, back home. Back in England and back to Western culture. India is wonderful of course, but there’s only so long you can go before you start craving the Western vices (like beef burgers). Last year I managed 12 months, this year I didn’t do so well and had to come back after just 10 months.
Well, I say had to come back, the words of my father are still echoing in my ears “son, if you don’t come back for your mothers beep
So I have come from one country which by all accounts is utterly random to another country which I firmly believe has lost its marbles.
Anyway. The first thing you notice moments after walking through arrivals is how stupidly expensive everything is here. When you are used to paying £3.50 for an excellent two course meal, coming to England is like diving in to a pool of ice; you become numb with shock.
In my first day back in England, I got the train from Heathrow Terminal 5 (which is amazing by the way, even my Dad, the man that could find fault with the Sistine Chapel begrudgingly conceded that they had done a fair job with T5) to South London which cost £10.
From there I went and had a pint (from landing to first pint in 90 minutes is not bad going) which cost £3 and then it was off to buy a Pay As You Go sim card, (topped up with £20 – enough to last you three months in India) and some toiletries.
Three hours in the country and the total cost so far was £35.
That evening, I went to a pub to meet up with some old uni friends where we had dinner and many drinks. Dinner was £9 and drinks came in at around £15. By the time I got to bed I’d managed to spend nearly £60 since landing.
The next day I went and had my first McDonald’s (you honestly don’t realize how much you miss Quarter Pounders until it’s no longer available!) before catching a train up to my hometown.
Now in India, you can travel the length and breadth of the country for about a £20. This will get you a nice air-conditioned carriage with a full length bed since the train journeys can last for days (and not because the train gets lost like in Darjeeling Limited!).
England, on the other hand, seems to think that everyone is as rich as Mr. Monopoly, so a basic 1 hour train journey costs £39 if you want a single or £41 if you want a return – simply proving that someone, somewhere failed their maths GCSE.
Having been in the country less than 24 hours, I’d managed to spend a grand total of £100 (and a bit more). Utterly ridiculous, I hadn’t even gone very far or bought anything of any value, simply ate to stay alive and took public transport to get from A to B.
Back in my adopted country (which doesn’t want me back), £100 lasts you a month! And you get to live like a King!
But rip-off Britain gets worse – and for any Brits reading this, you don’t know how bad it is until you go to other countries – once back home, I had to get a hair cut which ended up costing £8.80 for a quick buzz round the back and sides and cut short on top. Admittedly, there were no hair raising experiences (pun intended) this time, but honestly, £8.80 for a haircut! We’re in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930’s, people can’t afford to go around spending £8.80 for a bit of cranial topiary!
The world has gone mad. And Britain has become ridiculous.
Oh. And it’s still bloody raining here!