The doors close with a bang. You are locked in a tiny space. Your liberty is no more.
You must sleep with strangers, lose any rights to personal space and tolerate the body odours of others and worse.
You eat dubious meals off sectional trays.
There is no fresh air and breathing in recycled body odours is unavoidable. A strong stomach is required.
Exercise is limited and only in set periods and if you don’t mind compromising any available personal space.
Using a bathroom is a privilege afforded to those who run the gamut of obstacles – then using it a harrowing experience – peeing safely and hygienically is an art.
This is survival of the fittest and it’s not what you know but who you suck up to which determines your survival.
You have paid a heavy price for – your desire for overseas air travel.
As I write this, I am on a plane ( one from the older generation unfortunately) and I have just woken up, thick headed and confused after snoozing on the shoulder of the unfortunate bloke sitting next to me.
I think I dribbled.
It just struck me that I have paid an awful lot of money for the privilege ofsleeping with a man I just met.
And no, I won’t see him again.
These days even most criminals get a suspended sentence.
But,suspended at 20,000 feet, there is no chance of early release this far over the Atlantic.
So as I huddle under my prison-issue grey (sorry airline) grey blanket I try not to think about the people who have used it before me, or how many have handled the slightly sticky in -flight magazine…
As I write the uniformed air stewards are on regular patrol, ready to pounce on passengers who have breached protocol by makinga run for the loo while the seatbelt lights are on.
But I’m being rewarded for my good behaviour.
The flight is six hours but with the wind behind us I’ll only serve five and a half…
by Nicola Kristine Adam @jabberingjourno
This column first appeared in the Lancaster Guardian – Click HERE