Going on an airplane makes me scream like a 6 year old …..

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I am really petrified of flying.

Not drink a tiny bottle of Rescue, and down a large bottle of Chenin Blanc and you will be fine “sort of scared” – I am ridiculous over anxious and constantly sure that the plane is going to fall out of the sky in flames.

None of this made any better when a friend told me that when it a passenger plane “falls out of the sky” it probably takes about 20 minutes for the plane to go from cruising altitude to the “side of the mountain” in flames.

I can’t quite imagine screaming for 20 minutes.  Without having to stop and call the air steward for a drink, because no doubt I will be parched.

If I was on Kulula, do you think they would still charge me R22.00 for a Millers if we were going to crash and burn?

I digress.

I am scared of flying.  I try to avoid flying.  Not really a big ask in my world, as jet-setter is hardly the term that would apply to my sort of life style.

That being said I flew to Johannesburg last week.  I got on a plane and I thought okay, I am going to do that thing when I curl up in the brace position and this is before I am even seated in my correct seat.  Then I am going to spend the rest of the flight screaming every time the stupid catering trolley hits that metal skirting thing in the main aisle.

Every time the metal trolley hits one of those metal strips I am convinced the plane is going to break into two.

Yes, I do realise this does not make sense.

This time I thought I would use a new tactic.

1.  Don’t think about the flight.  At all.  To the point where you actually do not even print out the ticket things to take to the airport.

2.  Do not watch any “air disaster” shows.

3.  Download a few albums onto your iphone.  Songs you know.  You know the words, and you know the order of the songs.

4,  Fit head phones in your ear.

5,  Find  a volume level where you cannot hear your heart beat, nor the possible sound of the rivets popping off the wing on take off and landing.

6.  Keep music firmly on – but pause when the air hostess does the emergency procedure, because that shit could save your life.

7. Keep ear phones in and music going – the entire flight, before, during and after.

I realise it is not a method that is going to set the “people who are shit scared of flying” community abuzz, but it worked for me.

I am normally scared totally shitless when ever I fly. I had loud music, and the fact that the music was familiar and I knew what was coming kept me at ease.

I have never been “calm” during a flight – unless I am so medicated that even swallowing my own saliva appears like a challenge out of my realm, but I flew to Johannesburg and back again, and the entire time I sat there with a reasonably content look on my face.

Without crying, not once.

Without holding on to the passenger next to me, whether I knew them or not.

Without paging the air hostess once to alert the pilot that there are several rivets on the wing that appear to be working themselves loose.

I flew.  I sort of enjoyed it.  I was not scared.

Me + Flying = winning!!

 

No kids and the big green flying machine ….

This past weekend Kennith and I escaped from our lives for a few days.  It was not impromptu. I am not going to try to appear like we live these carefree lives, where we run off into the sunset like teenagers and drink gin and tonics in the afternoon.  Nope, this was a weekend away sans kids that was planned down to the last detail.

It was the first time I was going to leave my 7 month old baby, so that was quite traumatic for me.  I was convinced I was going to pull out at the last minute, and end up giving Kennith an ultimatum about not going without her.  I managed to wave goodbye – albeit with much difficulty and a large lump in my throat – on Friday morning as we headed to Cape Town International and risked life and limb flying with our airline of choice (financial not personal).

By the time I got to the check in queue I was a little tearful – both because I was about to fly and because I had left Isabelle behind.  Almost on cue a woman appeared behind us with a  tiny baby in a pram.  This little thing was bleating at the top of his lungs.  As the baby cried, the more I started to cry with him.  I also started to release milk, which is not the ideal look one is trying to pull off in the airport.

I managed to compose myself sufficiently to eat an extremely yellow lemon-and-poppyseed muffin and drink some bad tea, before we found our rather narrow and cramped seats on the large green carrier. 

There were three kids on the plane – none mine – and I really felt sad when I heard them cry …. in the beginning.   

I realized that I might have 30cm width to sit in and the guy in front of me practically in my lap, but the little space I had was all mine.  I managed to bend my body like a contortionist to get my book from my bag, and then sat with my book reading.  Now if I had a child anywhere near me, this would have been a totally different picture.  I would be imagining reading,  and would have been sorely disappointed when reality played out – with kids going wild within the confines of the metal box I was flying in.

I would be stressed from the three hour preparation to get to the plane.  I would be sweaty and exhausted.  Further agitated that the kids would have played with all the entertainment I had brought with to keep them occupied for the duration of the flight – the plane had not even taxied off yet.  Things would be looking terribly bleak for the next two hours or so. 

I would be wondering how I was going to get the air hostess person to serve me a bottle of wine before 9am! 

I would further be stressed by the looks I would be getting from my fellow passengers – who would be travelling without kids – because like captive buck, they would be looking at me nervously wondering when my predators were going to strike.

Instead, I looked down and continue to read my book.   A certain bliss and peace came over me.  It was shattered as soon as our pilot, who no doubt got his license from a correspondence college and had not completed the practical leg of his course successfully as yet.

We spent the weekend acting like we had no children and drank way too much – all because we knew that there was not going to be a snuggly bug coming for a cuddle at 6am, or my daughter announcing to me at about 5:30am that she was going to the bathroom.  I browsed book stores, we hung out with friends, and we even managed to sit and stare at the television uninterrupted on Sunday morning watching Fawlty Towers – it was all quite idyllic.

It was great to act like we were childless and care-free!  Of course we missed our sprockets, and when we finally got home around 10:30pm it was lovely to find them all knotted up in their duvets oblivious to us giving them good night kisses.

Maybe being a mommy is not so bad, if I can run away from home every now and then.

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