Flight VA 177

Location:  The Air.  Heading from Hanoi to Hoi An, May 19th

I know I need to address Hanoi - and I will.  But I just got off this flight and must share.  (All you, Teach!) Because it is too much.  And it happened.  Like two hours ago.  I have been left stunted, confused and frankly, grossed out.

  Last minute selfie.

Last minute selfie.

Here are the facts.

1)  Flying in Asia is general mayhem.  

If you are about to fly in Asia - please imagine that I give you a hearty pat on the shoulder and wish you well.  Because unless you detach from your body or have had a few cocktails, you're gonna need some support.  On my most recent flight from Hanoi - there was actually a system (whoa!)   You were to sit in this waiting area until boarding, as they don't allow you to sit in front of where you actually board.  They seem to have created an area before the area.  When your flight is called, you are to enter through the door to access the boarding gates.  A woman checks your pass and then you go to your gate.  But, not seeing the woman for 10 minutes, people just barged through, busted past the "Do Not Enter" signs, as if there were no rules.  Oddly, no one seemed to care.  Good luck pulling that move at JFK.  Homies, you'll all end up in a room with no windows in under ten mins.  I'd imagine you might stay there a while.

2)  Everyone thinks they are on The Amazing Race

But, the very true and very real fact is that they aren't.  Because they are old.  And have suitcases like Mr. Bean / stolen from the set of Mad Men.  Most suitcases are thin, narrow and have two metal latches which you pop at the same time in order to open them.  What exactly does one keep in there?  It's like the Sex & The City episode where a man at jury duty just had a papaya in his official case.  I was body checked by a 90lb 80 year old woman who was not having my pace.  (I'm not exactly slow) A man actually rolled his suitcase over my sandaled feet because he wanted to get by me.  A toothy grin was his response to my "what are you doing."  (I am no longer playing nice although my voice is up a few octaves from where it should be, because I am trying)  One inch on an airplane is actually a mile.  I am actually surprised fights don't break out.  Rather, I'm surprised that I don't pick fights with small strangers on SEA flights.  There we go.  Is this altrusim?  I think so.  Finally!  I've achieved something.  Reminds me of the days I used to win Miss Congeniality awards.... no, this is not a lie.

3)  People are still confused about airplanes and where to sit

It is strange that this perplexes humans still?  Especially when there are signs that everyone can read, in a few languages?  And we are in a city, that is modern?  Tonight I went to my seat and found a row of three women who clearly didn't look at their assignments and took the "I'll just sit anywhere" approach.  Once we got the whole "which seat is yours" mimed discussion out of the way,  I realized that they were wearing hospital masks.  And then... I really looked at them.  They all had squinty eyes, which were purple, with dark bruises extending onto their face because their noses were wrapped and packed.  Seemingly these gals got a group discount on rhinoplasties.  Three friends on a jaunt to Hanoi to get their noses did.  

They didn't know what was going on and it might have been the pain meds or maybe not.  After they shuffled over and I took my seat... one vomited the entire time.   Most people pretended not to notice.  I hid in my scarf and read (deepest thanks to Collie for the White + Warren travel wrap and to Lindsay for selling the power of the kindle).  

4)  Planes are small and people will always attempt to stretch out in odd ways

Case in point, "pointer" as depicted below, kept grabbing the headrest in front of my face.  I couldn't get away and spent way too much time thinking about nail care.  

5)  SOMEONE ANSWERED THEIR PHONE DURING THE FLIGHT AND LEGIT HAD A CHAT.  A! FULL! ON! CHAT!  

It lasted a few minutes and was in Vietnamese.  I imagine it to have gone something like this.  "Hey girl, I'm just here, on this plane, no idea how I have service, but we are about to land.  I see lights.  I see a ferris wheel.  It is just so bright and I'm real excited.  Oh yeah, sorry, you are going to need to keep circling and wait for me because well, I'm not at the luggage carousal yet.  Rather, I'm looking at Danang with a birds eye view.  Right, did you hear me when I told you I was still FLYING on the plane?  OH you didn't catch that because I answered the phone and that isn't allowed by any government?  Yeah, holler.  No!!!! YOU'RE pretty.  Love ya.  TTYL."  

6)  No one really explained "the saftey rules."  "Buckle seat belt now" was about it.  Luckily, there is this guide that is found, you guessed it, in your seat pocket.   Effective moves can be found below.