07h30 Woke up on an airplane yet again – not sure if I got a full four hours or a meagre forty-five minutes. Am consumed with rage that has been simmering since the beginning of the flight. I’ll blow off steam below, feel free to skip it if you’re not interested in a rant today.
Am safely ensconced in my South African Airways flight to Botswana. It’s quite civilized after my two Lufthansa flights. A little cheese sandwich (delicious bun!) and some tomato juice and not one single person is touching me. Nicole is a few rows behind, undoubtedly making the most of her luxe window seat.
After landing in Gab (around 10h50) we have to go through customs, collect our bags, check in for our Maun flight (departure 13h30), catch a taxi to the Vet Board office downtown, get sworn in as temporary vets, get back to the airport and board our plane.
My adrenal glands are balking, they feel they have had insufficient rest to attempt that feat.
21h47 Air Canada has lost my luggage.
Normally I find my travel foibles entertaining. Today.. not today. Today I am crushed and want nothing more than to curl up and go home. Except I haven’t got a home.
RANT: My flight started with a (probably reasonable) request from the person assigned to the middle seat of my block to have my seat, the aisle seat because he has thrombosis blah blah blah. Two things occurred to me during the request: A) if you have a medical requirement for where you sit, spend the 20$ and book your seat in advance, your lack of planning or cheapness is not my problem; B) bullshit, you’re just 6’2″ and want extra leg room. See above for my thoughts on this, and add some irritation for using medical needs as an excuse to get what you want. This man was EXCEPTIONALLY ignorant for the entire trip. His legs and shoulders spent the trip in my space, his denim jacket hit me repeatedly each of the dozen or more times he got up to get in to his bag or whatever. His pillow was dropped on me repeatedly, and squeezed onto my seating on more than one occasion. Last but not least THREE times, in the middle of the night he flipped his overhead light (which shines on my face, not his lap) on or felt the need to wake me up by lifting out shared arm rest to fiddle with his USB cord.
Seat mate number two, initially, seemed okay. A little self-involved, (volunteered everything I never wanted to know about what work he was doing in Germany, and then expressed no interest in what I was up to in Botswana), but otherwise nice enough. Then he started touching me and my things “being helpful”. It wasn’t sexual, or nefarious in any way, just a giant fucking invasion of my personal space. Both men took both arm rests, manspread their knees into my leg space and felt free to jostle me whenever they needed.
After the meal service, when most people take the opportunity to catch a little sleep, if one of them wasn’t moving and bumping me, shining their overhead lights into my face, the other was. A full zopatol could not combat their diligence and I managed to get a meagre fifteen minutes of sleep.. split into atleast three bouts.
To any person who does not comfortably fit in an economy class seat: you are saving money at your neighbours expense, and this is rude.
To any person whose seat needs are informed by medical conditions: spend the 20$ and pre-select your seats. You are a grown adult and can look after yourself. Your oversight, or cheapness, is not anyone else’s problem.
To all men: look up man spreading. Don’t do it. You do not own every armrest you are sitting near. Be aware of the space needs of those around you. If your shoulders are too wide for economy, buy a seat that fits you. You DO NOT just get to move into my seat.
Needless to say sleep will be a priority on arrival in Maun.