Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just suck it up

Nothing quite makes long distance flying comfortable, except perhaps travelling first class, which will forever be beyond my budget. Even then, the old jet lag can really knock you about, especially when travelling from west to east. The flight from Europe to Australia is one of the tough journeys. On this last occasion it took only 24 hours or so, which is the shortest I have managed. Still, it’s something to endure rather than to enjoy. Is there any way of getting comfortable in those seats? If so, I have yet to find it. So there is just intermittent and disturbed sleep, with odd meals served at the oddest hours. People are surprisingly well behaved most of the time, despite the discomfort, the annoying waits and the sleep deprivation.

All in all, travelling seems easier now than it was a few years ago, although not necessarily more comfortable. The check-in and security process runs fairly smoothly, a remarkable task given the volume of traffic at some times and places. Of course, there are always those who are ready to complain. Now, I’m not going to complain about complainers. The world needs complainers, if for no other reason than to make me proud of how calm and understanding I am in potentially stressful situations. And the complainers also make the staff worth every cent they earn. I imagine that one of the most important parts of their training is how to deal with disgruntled travellers. Are there also classes in how to be a disgruntled traveller? There must be, surely, as some people are so very good at it. It is a talent, if not quite an admirable one. But seriously, I do recognise the urge to complain, when one is tired, and things appear to be taking longer than they need to, or people seem to be acting like petty tyrants. But I also know that complaining in such a situation may momentarily make me feel better (that wonderful sense of self-righteousness indignation!), but it won’t actually achieve anything, other than, perhaps, to slow things down even more, and make the officious official even more officious. So while I may at times feel the need to complain and whinge, I also recognise that this is as much a function of my own state of mind at the time, as it is a reflection of the actual situation. So, I generally just take a deep breath and suck it up.

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