Posted by: Waheeda Harris | September 4, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

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It had been almost two months since I had been on a plane. Then,  I was the airport weekly and next week I’m getting on a jet plane again. I’ve been on airplanes regularly all my life, but the past two years , I seem to have a pattern that if its been three weeks, I’m heading to the airport.

I’ve always liked flying. I remember being five years old, on my first return trip to South Africa, and loving how big the planes were, looking at the passengers and the pretty flight attendants. I don’t remember being sick (as my parents remind me that I was most of the time flying) but do have a recollection of flying the final leg to South Africa and the plane was pretty empty. I got to lie down on three seats in a row, which seemed like a grand adventure.

Now flying has become so common place, but there are still things I like to do as part of my ritual of flying I always arrive early at the airport. I always carry my own food (long before the airlines stopped providing food or selling food on the plane). I always dress like I’m working although half the time I may be visiting friends. I love travel sized items and gadgets that are just for travel. I get excited when I’m just about to board the plane, when the airline staff start announcing who can board the plane. I have rarely flown business class, but the few times I did, I adored it.

I remember being a student trying to save money by flying west via the US to BC. I took a Thai Airways flight from Toronto to Seattle, which when I arrived at the gate was oversold. I sat in the waiting room hoping that I wouldn’t have to wait until the next day for a flight. Right at the end, three of us got boarding passes and were allowed to board.

Since the flight was heading to Asia after Seattle, it was a jumbo jet and had a upper second level for business class. We were pampered with scented towels, complimentary cocktails and endless amounts of tasty snacks. The attendants were elegantly dressed in shades of purple and relaxing music was playing. I vowed to travel like that again. It hasn’t happened, but I still dream it will.

Photo: January 2008, the skies somewhere between Toronto and Chicago, photo by WH

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