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Musings from a Plane

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/annegirl/433349704/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/433349704_318fc7e566_t.jpg" width="100" height="67" alt="View from the window of the plane" class="img-right" /></a>There is no doubt that direct flights are more convenient as they have no stopovers. You get on the plane, you get off the plane, and you're there. You don't have to traverse unfamiliar airports, many of which have signages in languages you can't read; or spoken in accents you can't decipher. But what I've come to realise on my first non-stop flight is this: they call it a long-haul flight because you're in for the long-haul.
Every plane ride is a roll of the die. You may be seated next to that leggy blonde cheerleader or the yokozuna who makes Hurley from Lost look like an anorexic teen. With direct flights, one roll is all you got. If you're fortunate enough to be seated beside the three toddler tenors trying to outdo each other, congratulations, you have 20 hours to go.I exaggerate of course. The guy next to me would pass off only as a novice sumo wrestler at best, and baby Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras are 3 rows in front. I could be mistaken – it could be just the 2 tenors. But between the ongoing cresendos and the dull hum of the airplane turbines Carreras probably wouldn't be heard anyway. Good thing I brought along my iPod and in-ear monitors.
When I fly I always choose the window seat. I'm not sure I prefer it because sitting beside the window affords me some photo opportunities, or because I have a fetal tendency to lean against the wall when I sleep. Anyway, it's kinda working against me right this moment as my bladder begins to complain but mini-sumo man is asleep between me and the path to the lavatory. His fingers are still on the game controller and a large 'bankrupt' is emblazoned on his screen. He'll wake up to discover he lost the gambling game he was playing.
He left his light on. One bright, bluish-white beam in the dark. It illuminates him like the beginning of a Mr Bean episode. It'd have been a little funnier if I didn't have to pee so bad.
The sun sets as I am typing this. That's another thing about air travel: your bladder is the one true timekeeper. Our usual chrono-landmarks fail us. What appears to be the noonday sun could stay in the sky for the next 5 hours or turn to evening in 2 depending on which direction you flew. Your watch cannot be trusted, who knows what time zone you're currently in? The air crew feeds you at odd hours, and you're unsure whether you feel well-fed, or if it's the change in external air pressure that's making you bloat. But your bladder never lies.
I sure hope he wakes up soon.

Chose to wake him in the end. So I thought the smart thing would be to wait till he stands up for the loo before I go again, but it's been 11 hours and he hasn't gone once. It's not like he hasn't been drinking fluids. Apart from the scotch and red wine, he's been drinking copious amounts of water. Wonder where all that went.

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