I hate flying

Long flights are the worst. New security restrictions and winter mechanical problems meant delays at the gate in the Pearson International Airport. That meant sprinting through the Detroit airport to catch my connection to Nagoya, a 14-hour flight on which I got stuck beside a talker—an American who told me he initially assumed I was some teenager on a trip with her parents and who, upon finding out I was in IT, showed me a picture of a pile of computers he’d refreshed and tried to impress me with the certs he was going for: CCNA, MSCE, etc. “ASP – you know Active Server Pages?”

I was polite. I made conversation. And I made it very clear that I outgeeked him, in the hope that would get him to stop trying to namedrop technology or military jargon.

I hate flying. I hate the expense of airfare and the time commitment of a trip. I hate the rigmarole of airport security. I hate the paperwork and queues. I hate lugging heavy bags around. Why did my work laptop have to be so big?

As the flight from Nagoya to Manila touched down, the passengers around me broke into applause. Filipinos, glad to be home.

Home. I slipped back into it like a second skin. Home. Family; long-running in-jokes with friends; conversations in Tagalog; even ads that I can relate to. Even my cat remembers our old routines.

How strange and wonderful it is to have two homes, and to know what I take for granted in either.

  • http://randell.ph/ Randell

    LOL at the dude. It would’ve been fun actually watching how the conversation went.

  • Peppy

    welcome home!

  • Seb

    All that security business is extremely frustrating, especially because it has nothing to do with “safety”, and a lot with scaremongering tactics that achieve nothing but waste people’s time (although they do scare the living daylights out of everybody). The fact that we put up with all that shows how much we value our dear family and friends far from where we live.

  • http://coevolving.com David Ing

    @sachachua As much as you hate flying, I actually look forward to it. It provides me time away from my computer to catch up on reading, and watch movies that I otherwise wouldn’t have time to see.

    On your issue with fellow passengers, I have to admit that I’m rarely moving in transit without at least an a headphone in one ear. Your blog post made me think about how long I’ve been using noise-cancelling headphones, and it could be as early as 1998. I use different earbuds for everyday use than for the airplane, and find that the noise-cancellation reduces fatigue.

  • Jonathan Young

    Hi sacha. I have been travelling for work a lot lately to Singapore – 14hr flights. I use putty style ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones – complete serenity!