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15 January 2004

French Kiss

Location : Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

I can only say that the flight has been quite an experience. First of all, my travel agent didn't inform me that there was a departure tax of NZ$25 from the Auckland International Airport and I almost cleared all remainder NZ currency by offering to pay petrol costs to Ryan's sister, Andrea, for giving me a lift to the airport. Thank God she refused because I would have been stuck without any currency!

Then on the flight, for the first time in my life I sat next to a lady who had a phobia of flying. Every single slight change in the sound of the aircraft engines made her spring into asking me a million questions and she would fidget around trying to distract her attention. And we haven't even lifted off. I tried to calm her down.

Lady : What was that? I've never heard that kind of sound before.

(I was dozing off)

Me : Huh?
Lady : That sound from the outside.
Me : Oh, that's probably the engine revving it up before we take off.

(After 2 minutes)

Lady : Why haven't we lifted off?
Me : I don't know...
Lady : I don't like flying.
Me : Yeah, I can tell. But don't worry. According to statistics, most accidents happen during take off or landing. So, in a few moments, it will be all over.

(Then I realised I shouldn't have said that because we haven't taken off)

Lady : Thanks, that made me feel a lot better?
Me : Ooops, sorry luv! But really, no worries, yeah? Everything will be alright. The take off happens to be my favourite part about flying because when the plane thrusts forward, you can feel yourself being pushed back into your seat. Your heart pumps and you feel the rattling of the aircraft as it speeds across the runway. And then, when it all seems like we're going into terminal velocity, the wheels of the plane lifts off the ground and suddenly, we're all good as the plane ascends into the clouds. You will literally feel like you've just entered heaven.

I was trying to get her to see the bright side of the plane taking off and I don't know why but she didn't really speak to me after that. It was approximately another 15 minutes on the ground before the plane took off....and not surprisingly(because of the shitty airline), half an hour late. By that time, I was starting to doze off again and I slept through take off.

During the flight, she would ask me whatever any announcement meant and I could see her nerves literally on the edge. Then it suddenly struck me that the whole episode reminded me of a movie - French Kiss. I told her she was behaving exactly like Meg Ryan in that movie because her character was going through a panic attack before take off too. The lady said that was a good movie and from then on, we started chatting about anything else besides the flight itself. When it was time to land, she just kept on reading the altitude information displayed and gripped onto her seat as we touched down.

Posted by Ripcord at January 15, 2004 07:15 PM


You know you should have introduced her to the "mile-high-club!"
I find that's the best way to calm a nervous passenger.
Now if only that fit stewardess had had a fear of flying, I'd have certainly "calmed" her a bit...

Posted by: Raphrider at January 16, 2004 08:01 PM

Back in Sweden again...feels a t bit strange to look out of the window and see snow...miss OZ and NZ heaps! Hope u are enjoying your time//cheers Tes

Posted by: Tess at January 17, 2004 09:24 PM

raph : errr...she wasn't mile-high-club material. just a cute mother-of-four...yeah, four as in four KIDS.

tess : hey tess!!! glad to see u on mindriot! i'm having fun as usual... did you have a wicked adventure the rest of your trip after new year?

Posted by: ripcord at January 18, 2004 05:52 AM