My (love?)-hate relationship with flying

Plane window
I mean, with that kind of view I guess it’s not ALL bad.

I don’t like flying. Or rather, I don’t like the idea of being in a plane that is no longer flying in a controlled, expected sort of fashion. I don’t imagine anyone does but I’m historically bad at chilling the fuck out about being on a plane that is functioning perfectly fine.

I’m getting better at it though. And to my great surprise, in the past week or so, I’ve been looking forward to the flying bit of getting to the US a week from today. (By the way, I’m headed to the US for a visit, woop!) Not because of the plane itself, but because of the enforced sitting without internet connection for a few hours. For no other option but to watch a movie or read a book or have a gin and tonic and stare out the window at nothing. (Hopefully without turbulence, because that ruins the ideal vision.)

I’ve been so busy, and my brain has been such a ball of chaos in the past few weeks (and always) that the enforced shutdown, albeit stranded hurtling through the air, sounds pretty good if I forget about the lack of control I have over the situation.

Also, and this is kind of weird, but aside from the fact that they designed the place with far too few toilets, I LOVE Heathrow Terminal 5, which is where I often connect. It’s not the best airport terminal ever or anything, but there are tons of good, affordable places to eat, and that counts for a disproportionate amount in my world. I can get a sushi box! Or noodles! Or a smoothie with a plastic giraffe swizzle stick! And a bunch of other things that make me happy to sit in the airport. I even spent the night on the seats of the Costa Coffee in arrivals last year without it ruining the place for me. I don’t know what it is, I just have a bizarre affection for the place.

T5 by night
Heathrow T5 arrivals, sometime in the wee hours in December 2013. Quiet, freezing, and not the most comfortable. But still kind of great.

Anyway. I doubt I’ll ever full-on enjoy flying – even without the actual being in the air bit, there’s never enough legroom or comfort (I’m a tall, fidgety lady with not nearly enough money for an upgrade). But I’m a lot less tense these days on takeoff and landing. And flying pretty much always means I’m going a place I want to go, so it’s plenty reason to suck it up, but I also think that maybe it’s that now I’ve been through enough lack-of-control situations in my life that clearly haven’t killed me, I just handle the fear better. It’s fear I know so well that we just chill out together for a while as I pick the in-flight entertainment that will most adequately distract me from it.

But man, I will never crack the whole keeping my skin from freaking out. And always, ALWAYS catching a cold. And playing tetris with my dinner. I get they’re trying to pack as much food onto that tray as possible. I APPRECIATE it. But surely there’s a better design solution for how all that shit fits together. You want something that’s not going to be an inevitable mess in that situation. And there is just NOWHERE SAFE to put my red wine.


I’m already looking at my film choices though, so, bring on the holiday!

EDIT: And then there’s always this to aspire to: What it’s like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class. Absolutely fucking bonkers. All I ask for is one go at a business class flatbed seat in my life. I really don’t think I could handle a whole room.

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