Tag Archives: traveling

The only thing worse than crying babies on planes

I’ve been traveling a lot this month, and all these flights have reinforced a critical reality¬†that I probably already knew: annoying people on planes are infinitely more annoying than annoying people elsewhere.

Yesterday, on my flight back from San Francisco, I boarded the plane and made my way to my aisle seat. There was a woman wearing pancake makeup sitting in the middle seat in my row, a fur stole hung over the back of her seat. Strangely, this didn’t immediately scream high maintenance to me.

As soon as I sat down, she remarked, “So I guess we’ll have to stand to let that person in,” gesturing to the window seat. I agreed with this hard-hitting analysis of our seating arrangement. “You know,” she continued, “I usually like the seat you’re in.”

“Oh,” I said.

“You want that seat?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

She sighed dramatically. “I’m going to be bothering you a lot to go to the bathroom.”

I was so excited for the six-hour flight.

When the food cart came around, she asked for the flight attendant’s opinion on the quinoa wrap.¬†She held up a credit card. “I can’t find my other one.”

“This is fine,” the flight attendant said.

“I don’t know where I put my other one,” she said, rummaging around in her purse. “I can’t find it. Oh, here it is. I guess you can use that one if it’s too late.”

When the drink cart came by, she asked for a “Cabernet wine.”

“And I need a headset, too. I’ve already missed half the movie. And these grapes are rotted.”

Three “Cabernet wines” later, she knocked an empty bottle onto my bag. “These trays are too small,” she whined. She apologized profusely. Just kidding, she didn’t.

After observing our delightful seatmate craning her neck and sighing dramatically several times trying to get the flight attendants’ attention, the woman in the window seat told her about the call button overhead. She was charmed and inspired. The flight attendants, I imagine, were not.

Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver: Weirdos Abroad part I

Hello dear readers and welcome to a very special series I’m calling “Weirdos Abroad.” While traveling in Iceland recently, I was reminded that sometimes traveling Americans are even more annoying than those who are being obnoxious domestically. In each part of this series, I’ll examine an individual or individuals who made me embarrassed that I share their nationality.

We’ll start with a trip to the Blue Lagoon. The bus ride took around an hour, but it felt like five years due to two people sitting behind my friend and me. I’ll call them Bill and Sally. Bill and Sally are probably in their late fifties. They are not married to each other; Sally’s husband was not present, and Bill was Tindering the whole ride. How do I know this? Because they never stopped talking.

Bill had long sideburns and a soul patch, a look that was popular before my birth and attractive never. Throughout the ride, he frequently referenced his many dates and informed his traveling companion that she would be his wing man.

Sally is from the Midwest. If possible, she likes to talk even more than Bill. She narrated our whole trip.

“Look, it’s moss,” she exclaimed. “I wonder where it all comes from?”

“And now it’s raining,” she noted.

At this point I turned to my friend. “I will give them $10 to stop talking for five minutes.”

She didn’t think that would go over well.

“I think I’m going to bed early tonight,” Sally said at one point. I got it. Her vocal cords were probably raw.

“You can’t,” Bill wailed. “You’re going to be my wing man.”

“The only people who get my humor are children, old people, and East Coasters,” Bill said.

“I hate East Coasters,” Sally said.

My friend and I, born, raised, and currently residing on the East Coast, shared a look.

We were lucky enough to end up on the same bus as Bill and Sally on the way back. Before getting on the bus, Bill stopped a young Asian woman.

“Do. You. Speak. Eng-lish?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Where is this bus going?”

She looked at him, shrugged, and walked away.

Bill shook his head at Sally. “She didn’t understand me.”