I know. Hate is such a strong word. And I really don’t like to use it in an undeserving context, but right now I can’t help but feel that it’s totally appropriate. I hate flying. Just the mere thought of boarding a plane gives me a headache. Which is probably why I’m sitting here right now with a pounding one. (Either that, or the fact that I’ve only had one cup of coffee). Tonight I get back on a plane to travel during the night all the way to Guadaloupe. I can’t even tell you exactly where that’s at, except that I know it takes a little over four hours from Miami to get there.
Originally I was supposed to leave last night so I could arrive a little earlier and get settled. But once I returned from Africa, I just knew I had to buy myself another day in my own bed. That last trip I did was monstrous and it definitely did a number on me. I am a frequent flyer for sure, but that round trip in a blink of an eye with multiple days of sleep lost had its way with me. And you want to know what made it 10 times worse? The sweet gentleman I had the pleasure of sitting next to.
The flight I boarded in Senegal was in transit from South Africa and pretty full already. But when I began my walk towards the back, I heard the coughing before I even saw the source. And when I got closer and realized it was coming from my row, I shuddered. He was coughing up substance, I’m sure. He was nice enough to use a handkerchief but what good does that do, really? This man was at least 90 years old so I tried my best to be kind and smile, but the smile was not returned. Nor was there a respect for personal space. He continued to lift the armrest so he could stretch out his bad hip and give himself some more room. Sure, I feel sorry that he had a bad hip and the fact that he was probably extremely uncomfortable being 90 years old and stuck on a plane for 20 hours, but that’s not my problem. He also completely invaded my nostrils. It was a constant flow of unpleasant and downright putrid smells coming from his direction the entire time. So much so that at one point I used my eye mask to cover my nose instead.
So right now I’m not a fan of planes or their passengers. I am dreading tonight’s trip but staying home doesn’t get the bills paid. Please pray that the seat next to me is either empty or occupied by Channing Tatum’s long lost twin.