Monday, April 6, 2009

Up in the phone-free air

Unexpectedly in Sydney today, for reasons not anticipated on Friday when I last left work, but it's all good.

I caught the plane this morning with two people who were either serious drug dealers, or porn merchants, or possibly both. They looked like human lizards, complete with leathery skin, thin necks and reptilian eyes. BIG sunglasses, leopard print shirts - and these were men - and Louis Vuitton pocketbooks being hugged very, very closely. Way too much tanning time on the sunbeds. And the older one, who was white-haired and widely-paunched, was wearing a cream Panama hat with a black ribbon trim. Eeeeuw.

And then nearby in another seat was William H Macy .... or at least, someone who looked very much like him. I wanted to go up to him and shout adoring things at his wrinkly dried apricot face, but I reasoned that William H Macy would not be catching an early-morning Virgin flight from Melbourne to Sydney, and certainly not in economy class.

So I settled back instead, and read the Financial Review.

I quite like plane trips. When going on holiday, I look forward to the plane trip as much as the destination itself.

Plane trips are free time rides. That is, all phones are off, blackberries are off too, no one can email or ring me. It's me-time, of the best sort. All I need to do is sit back, read my paper, perhaps have a little snooze, do some meditation, daydream .... there's no work to be done and no work that can be done.

It's bliss. I dread the day they introduce phones on planes. I keep hearing rumours that they're running trials to see how it goes. And I cringe, thinking about it.

It's bad enough hearing all the details of someone's love life, or boyfriend issues, or work challenges, or any other of the myriad details - all of them banal - that you hear on public transport and in the shops at home.

It's quite another to have to Sit There In Your Seat, unable to escape in any way, while those details pollute the relative calm of the air around you. I shudder just thinking about it.

You never hear anything good when you're forced to hear a stranger's conversation. It's never salacious gossip, or important news, or some witty commentary on the fashion trends sweeping the inner-city tribes of London or the amethyst shade that's destined to become this season's new black.

Oh no, all you get is "I'm on the train/bus/ferry ... I'll be five minutes late .... and then she said .... shall we have fish or sausages for dinner" ...... BORING!!

God forbid the introduction of mobile phones on planes. I'll have to start carrying a parachute to deal with it.


Hoppo Bumpo said...

In my former working life I used to travel between Melbourne and Sydney every other week. I quite liked the plane trip too ... that was until the incident. The trip where 400 people in suits and one drunken man in a Hawaiian shirt boarded the plane. Guess where he sat? Yep. He ate the food off my tray and then put his arm around me. Ewwww - I'm still scarred. I'm with you on the phone call thing too. (Though I can say I once heard someone on the phone talking too loudly saying ... Yeah its urgent. They've got Carl. ... on the day that Carl Williams was arrested. That was a teensy bit interesting.)

CurlyPops said...

Ha ha you crack me up !
Apparently the no phones on planes rule has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It's all to do with the phone companies not being able to track the calls and the charges properly so they would literally be giving away free phone calls.

Taccolina said...

See that CurlyPops, she looks so innocent, but she's in on all the conspiracies....

Mr Tacc and I once witnessed a spectacular break-up/ dumping of the order of "Oh yes, I've left you. Because of what you've done. And don't even bother trying to clean your car or find your beloved bloody camera...' which went on at top volume for an excruciating 20-minute bus ride. It was extremely juicy. But we were in England, with 60 shell-shocked English people and the radiating waves of embarrassment and horror at a PDE (Public Display of Emotion) were almost as funny as the call. I tried not to sniggle.

Christy said...

I used to love the travelling on a plane part of a trip too, until we had a baby - now it's just x amount of hours until we are free from being confined to a seat and an aisle to walk up and down, and up and down, and up and down with a squirmy baby in my arms. And don't even get me started on trying to change multiple diapers in those teeny tiny bathrooms. If I ever get to travel alone again, I will so love it, but for the next few years I sort of dread plane travel.

And, I must admit - I'm so jealous you're in Sydney unexpectedly! So fabulous!

Nikki said...

I once (when I was a wild young thing) caught up with an old girlfriend who'd been overseas for a few years and we filled each other in on our love lives and life decisions and all the nitty-gritties of it all. Yes - I was on my mobile phone and on a late night tram... but I thought everyone on the tram (who had no choice BUT to hear!!) might appreciate a bit more than the usual what-i'm-having-for-dinner malarky. I still wonder if anyone on that tram ever recognises me....

Troischats said...

Oh, your mobile phone conversations sound MUCH more interesting than the ones I am constantly subjected to! Carl Williams, lovelives won and lost, etc etc - now those are worth hearing.

Christy, while I am childless I nevertheless feel your pain. I can hardly use those tiny bathrooms myself let alone juggle a baby and nappies as well.

And Taccolina, I'm stealing the word Sniggle. I've never heard it before but I love it. A cross between a snigger and a giggle! What a great brand name that would make.

Tinniegirl said...

I'm joining the conversation too late I fear. The best bits are over! Who can compare with Carl Williams references.

I used to travel for work all the time too. I loved the time on planes where nobody could reach me. I also love the ritual when you are heading off on a holiday that starts with a plane ride.