Aiste A Daubaras shares her eclectic musings in a light, yet warm-hearted fashion.
Eh, gone are the golden days of glamorous travel, when Joan Collins was champagning whilst concording across the pond, arriving earlier than setting off without a single crease on her pristine white powersuit. In these times of “cheap” airplane tickets, we, mere mortals, have to suffer a bit of discomfort and even some mild indignity if we wish to travel by air.
“Remove your scarf, Madam, and your jacket…your shoes, belt, watch, hairclip”… One is lucky to be allowed to pass a metal-detector in one’s underwear.
This procedure isn’t too dissimilar to that of being arrested (not that I ever was, of course). Anyway, once you have successfully passed the metal gate…from
the third attempt, and got dressed…again, regrettably your discomfiture will not end there.
Even if you are not flying ‘United” (I wonder if anyone still does), seems to me that each airline has invented their own form of torture. For instance, British Airways are always trying to match the temperature of that at the port of embarkation… in negative numbers. So, if you left Manama at a scorching +40C, you will have a chilly welcome of a subarctic -40C on board. And no amount of sweaters or pashminas will save you from a guaranteed cold or even light form of bronchitis after seven hours in this freezer.
Most probably you would not even have the solace to snuggle to your loved one, as flights being so full these days, and unless you check in the very second the on-line check-in opens, your entire family will end up being scattered all over the aircraft (with the mother of the family stoically taking the seat next to the lavatory).
The same law of nature governs that your sulkiest teenager gets the seat with a broken entertainment system…inevitably.
And then there is a question of nourishment – although the least said about airline food the better. I always wonder who comes up with such ‘clever’ recipes resulting into these tasteless, gooey concoctions resembling pink toothpaste or prison food (again just a common knowledge).
But these are the woes of the lucky ones who still have their airplane tickets. One hears horror stories of smart, forward thinking families who booked their entire summer travel itinerary with Qatar Airways way in advance, and now have found themselves stranded with only a meagre compensation (if they are lucky) which hardly would take them further than Dubai at such a short notice.
So one draws a conclusion, that all things considered, a staycation this year is not such a bad idea after all.
Aisté is a Socialite, Writer, Language Tutor and Advisor
for International School of Etiquette, living in Bahrain and London.
To share your feedback, email: aiste.anusaite@ gmail.com