Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Travelling today!

I remember my mother telling me: “This world is not what it used to be.” Well, in my view, travelling is not what is used to be.

I remember stepping into my Geneva flat which was 6 km away from the airport in exactly 30 minutes after the plane’s touchdown on the runway. I used to leave my office 50 minutes before take-off and breeze through passport control and security check with a trolley the size of a trunk full of liquid perfume samples. Gone are the days when - even if stressed about catching your flight - you still managed to smile at the security person asking you to put your handbag through the scanner. Can you imagine what their life must be like today? Poor them, it’s not even their fault. Low on personnel and possibly badly trained they are handling overworked customers who in turn are harassed by portables, blackberries and extensive security rules and regulations. Remember the days we travelled without a mobile phone and you could relax on the flight with enough leg space to even stretch? You actually got served real food with proper cutlery.....and......NOBODY could get hold of you, absolute bliss!
Too add more irritation the flights are ALWAYS late, so after stressing to get to from your office to your gate in time, you then need to hang around waiting, having everybody listening in on your phone conversation with your boss or husband or worse; both!!! Where has the luxury of travel gone to?

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this situation which just seems to be getting worse with more and more people travelling. Therefore, make the best of it! I have started teaching my kids words and/or phrases in the language of the country’s airport we are “stuck” in. Just ask the ground staff for a few clues if you don’t know the language. I also drag them through the duty free food section to show them some typical culinary delicacies I might spot and be able to elaborate on. It all goes down to general knowledge of today’s crazy world. Who knows maybe some bits of information will stick to them and even come in handy one day?

Pan Am Stewardess 1970's

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