Well, this whole issue reached new heights for me on my flight home from Morocco the other day. I was flying Air Maroc, so the assumption that I was going to be in the minority was a done deal. The only plan I had for this flight, however, was to sleep. Not much else mattered. So I really tried to keep my cool during the check-in process as I was cut in front of, had my toe run over by a suitcase, and was yelled at for not taking two steps forward during passport checks. I mean, really?!! Does it matter if I move the two steps now when there is about 87 people still ahead of me? But whatever.
None of those things bothered me as much as my experience once I actually boarded the plane. I had the window--the middle seat was occupied by an older muslim woman. She claimed both arm rests right away. That wouldn't be such a problem normally, but in this particular plane the seats were so close together and space was so limited, that by her claiming the armrest on my side, she also overflowed into my seat. So to compensate, I tried to angle myself sideways. This was the state in which I began what I hoped to be a pleasant 3 hour nap. Apparently not, though. I started my journey by turning off my air conditioning vent so that i would be able to use my sweatshirt as a pillow. Imagine my surprise when I wake up chilly because miss lady next to me has opened my vent back up. Really? You do that here? Isn't that why we all have our own? It's really not my fault you have 10 layers of clothes on and are extra hot on the plane, but apparently I'm supposed to be mindful of that. Not soon after I feel pressure on my leg. The woman is literally trying to force my leg to move with pressure from her leg. So you've taken my arm space and now you want my leg space too?! Fine, you can have it. I close my eyes to continue my nap and not soon after I just get this feeling that something isn't right. I open my eyes and the lady is leaning over me to look out the window. It was as if I wasn't even there! I couldn't believe it. If you wanted a window seat, you should have asked for it like I did.
I'm pretty sure all my muttering under my breath and rolling my eyes didn't do a ton of good. We don't speak the same language, we have different ideas of what's acceptable, and the fact that I couldn't sleep peacefully on my flight meant nothing to her. So I figured I would complain to you, instead. Does anyone else experience this phenomena when traveling abroad?