Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trials and tribulations on Air Canada

When I checked in at the Munich airport for the flight home, they gave me seat assignments for the two flights home (Munich to Toronto, Toronto to Minneapolis). I asked for aisle seats since I'm terribly claustrophobic and I hate flying. I asked them to please not put me in the row of four seats in the middle of the plane (the big planes that fly internationally have rows of seats that are arranged as follows: two seats, aisle, four seats, aisle, and then another two seats). Just before we began to board, I saw that I had a window seat. Crap. Why didn't I double check at the ticket counter? I begin to fret. OMG. What if I am seated next to an enormous person spills over into my space? What if it is chatty Kathy? I'm in no mood to talk. What if . . . ? I checked to see if I could get another seat, but it was too late. 

When I boarded, I went down the wrong aisle (dammit--they could have steered me a little better), so I had to go down almost the length of the plane to get to the other side, all the while maneuvering all the crap I was carrying (carry-on bag, laptop bag, snacks bag, large purse, and coat), trying to avoid hitting anyone in the head. By that time, I'm freaking out a little, especially knowing I have a window seat. I had to wait until several people get by so I can  finally get to my seat since I'm now going against the flow. 

I finally find my seat. As I struggle to get my luggage in the carry-on space and get my stuff settled, I am immediately overcome by the smell of body odor. At first, I worry that it might be me. I am sweating profusely by now. I quickly sniff my armpit. No, it's not me. It's the man sitting in the aisle seat across from my seat, one row back. OMG. I seriously think I'm gonna throw up. It was vile. He reeked. Awfully. Geez. Bathe and use some deodorant!  I immediately was grateful that I was not sitting next to him and felt a bit better about my window seat. 

For a long time, no one sat down. I was hoping that the seat next to me was empty. But the plane seemed full and soon a young man came and occupied the seat next to me. I debated about asking him to switch seats but thought I'd down a happy pill first and see how I felt. And I began to see that my window seat was not so bad. I had more room than I expected. And changing to the aisle seat meant that I'd be closer to the evil body odor. The chemicals began to do their magic. Thank god for chemistry. A  glass of wine later also helped (though I really shouldn't mix the two). I settled in, hauled out my Bose ear plugs, and started a movie, Silver Linings Playbook, an absolutely wonderful movie. Thank god for movies on the plane!

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