Monday, October 18, 2010

Adverture #90- GUEST WRITER- Sean- Flying

Flying has always been my biggest fear so taking a flight from Bratislava to London was something of a challenge.  Now, I consider myself to be a pretty rational and sane person, but the moment myself and a plane were even entertained together in a single thought, a whole heap of the wildest flights of fancy would come spewing out of my mind like a gaggle of geese.  Incidentally birds were one of the things I was worried about.  What if the plane took off and a flock of inexplicably dumb winged bastards flew straight into the engine?  Was the pilot prepared for such an eventuality?  Do they train for it in pilot school?  These were the warped questions and thoughts in my head. 

So when i decided to take a flight for the first time in over 15 years (the last time when I was 7, I can barely remember) I went into a frenzy and everything became a potential plane destroyer.  Excited little kid next to a window?  Why, all the little bugger needs is some kind of plastic device and, hey presto! out pops a window and out of the sky we fall.  Or what if said kid is on another flight and his smashing out of a window causes his plane to divert and fly into ours?  See how the madness spreads.  Not only was I now looking for potential mass murdering midgets on our plane but praying none were sitting next to a window on a plane in a 100 mile radius.  And what about balloons?  How many people let them up into the sky?  Each one a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in the face of a ryanair pilot and in the panic send us hurtling to our doom. 

My fear of flying has always been coupled with a love of traveling, and having explored near enough the most of Europe with the delightfully tacky and quaint land bound Eurolines bus service I decided a change was needed.  And that change involved me being thousands of feet in the air, trapped in my paranoid head, probably scaring most of the passengers on board with my idiotic leaps of fantasy.

I won't mention the usual things people complain of when flying, such as having to arrive two hours beforehand, the long queues and waiting time, because I found them a relief.  Anything to prolong actually getting on board would have been very welcomed by me.  I was actually pretty good right up til we walked on to the tarmac to board the plane.  As I was walking up the stairs of the aircraft I was nervously scanning every inch and bolt of the plane.  And this being a budget airline, of course my fears weren't eased.  Most of the plane looked as if it had been stuck together using paper staples.  Were all these parts...wings, wheels, tails, engines, all seemingly paper mached on to the side of the plane...really supposed to stay together in the air?  Another thing for me to constantly keep an eye on in flight.  As well as the birds.  And kids with a curious fascination of windows.  In our plane and in other planes.  And rogue balloons.

As you can probably imagine, the two hour flight from Bratislava to London seemed like twenty two hours.  My mind jumping into paranoia hyper drive, frazzling my nerves and hands in the process.  The landing trumpet music which ryanair insists on playing hardly helped to reassure me for the return flight, as if landing safely and without incident was something of an unexpected bonus, something to be celebratory about, "Phew, well done! No crash this time."  Well, anyway, in no time at all I was whisked off the plane and into the joy factory that is Stansted airport security.  Waiting there with the other thousands, logic and reality slowly creeped back in and I began to think about what a complete, overreacting wussy I had just been.  I mean I know flying is pretty much the safest way to travel, but something in my brain just kicks in.  Maybe a fear of loss of control, or of death, or of large groups of winged creatures.  Whatever the silly fear, I'm glad I tried it and overcame it and will try it again in the future.  It was actually a nice feeling stepping on land feeling like I had conquered a small part of myself.  So, if you should be sitting next to me on a plane in the future I apologise in advance about my behaviour.  And please don't mention birds, babies, bombs or balloons.  Thank you for flying ryanair...

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