Travel Travails


A word I associate with excitement, curiosity, anxiousness and prayer.
Prayer? You’re wondering if you read right?
Yes. Prayer. Because before embarking on a journey, I pray.
No. Not for a ‘safe’ journey but, for an interesting co passenger!

From the time I first started traveling, I have got the type of co passengers I or for that matter, no one, really wants.
Old wheezing taciturn gentlemen, corporates who switch on their laptops the moment they are allowed to, people with…err…gastric problems.

I always preferred aisle seats but changed my preference after my fellow passengers constantly seemed to have bladder problems of the serious kinds and I had to get up every 20 minutes or so, so they could relieve themselves.

I never, ever sleep during a journey, no matter how long it is, I guess my insomnia travels with me too :-)
By some miracle I once dozed off during a particularly long and tiring flight and woke up gasping for breath! My courteous fellow passenger, not wanting to ‘disturb’ me was making a valiant effort to pass me by silently.
Impossible task, I may add, trying to heave 120 kilos of yourself with your rear choking someone’s breath! Not in the least bit thankful for his ‘thoughtfulness’ I thanked him for the same anyways, hastily adding a ‘please do wake me up next time’

I have this fervent wish that sometime in life my co passenger will be a handsome ( ok, even a reasonably presentable guy will do), intelligent (semi-intelligent will do), articulate, nice smelling gentlemen ( no, I won’t compromise on this!!) and we’ll have a long, interesting conversation and I won’t even realize when the journey ends. Sigh!

In the waiting lounge I mentally pick out people who’ll be my co passengers, and sadly I am rarely wrong :-(
The gent with a bad facial twitch and nostril hair growing till his knees? Bingo!
The lady with her nose buried in a fat book about Occult/ Hypnosis/ Past life regression/ ‘How to drive your co passenger to death with endless chatter’ Bingo again!

Next time I travel, I am going to hold a placard that says ‘Crying babies/ snotty children/ people with bad breath/body odor etc, my Seat No is #####. Please request a seat next to me while getting your boarding cards’.