So...I'm on the road traveling for work this week. We left Tuesday morning, and boarded a plane...final destination - McAllen, TX and Reynosa, Mexico.
The first leg of the trip to Houston was pretty anti-climactic. A two hour flight in this tiny little plane that seats 3 people across. Hell on earth for claustrophobic such as myself...but I muddle through.
At the Houston airport we stop to eat at a small wine bar. Food was pretty good actually.
As we're walking to our gate for the second flight I notice 2 things.
#1 Starbucks, green tea frappicino, it does a body good
#2 Strawberry blond (not her real color), tight black tanktop (not her real boobs), lowcut bootcut bluejeans, Brighton jewelry from head to toe.....and high heels shoes she CAN'T walk in.
The poor thing was almost running in the opposite direction we were going. She was frazzled, stressed, and about to sprain her ankle, at any second. (some people should NOT wear heels higher than 1 inch...ever!!)
Anyway, we stand in line at the gate, and eventually board the plane. I'd taken the time to switch our assigned seats around...and was excited about getting to sit in the emergency exit row, without another seat directly in front of me.
I get to my row, and there's a large man sitting in the aisle seat. I told him that I needed to get through, and he gave me the look of death. He finally pulled his overly large body from the seat to let me pass, but he wasn't happy about it. Oh no, not one little bit.
I sat down, settled in for the flight and noticed his carry on bag was sitting on the seat in between us. At the time, I didn't think much of it.
The flight attendants walked up and down the aisle at least 6 times each (between the two of them) just before we took off. I notice his bag is still sitting in the seat between us.
The flight attendants passed by checking that everyone was wearing their seatbelts. They were telling people to put away they electronic devices, they were telling people to return their tray table to it's upright position, they were telling people to stow their carryon baggage.
But not my fellow row mate. His bag still sat in the empty seat between us.
And, the strangest part was how he was hugging it to his side. Like it was his teddy bear, or like it contained plutonium. Transplant organ? Genie in a bottle? The secret of life?
Nope, just as the plane was taxiing to the runway, he pulled out a yamaka (yamika?) and plopped it on his head. So...he was hugging his bag, because he's afraid to fly and his he needed his hat handy? Did he tell the attendants he needed his bag for religious reasons?
Why does everyone else have to put their bags away, but not this guy?
Just as we start speeding down the runway, he reaches into his bag again.
He pulls out a book, written in Hebrew (I'm guessing on the language), and with a pencil, starts underlining things, drawing arrows, and scribbling small notes.
All the while, still hugging that bag. And when I say hugging, I mean hugging. Every once and a while, he'd even pat it on it's side. Like he had to make sure it was still there.
Then my attention shifted to the seats in the row ahead of me. Ms. Strawberry blond, who I'd last seen rushing in the opposite direction from us in the airport is sitting there. Looking haggard, sweating and fanning herself with the emergency procedure pamphlet. Her shirt has ridden up (it was 3 sizes too small anyway) and her black thong whale tail is there for all to see. Then she starts tapping her ridiculously long fake fingernails on her armrest.
tap, tap, tap, tap.......
The dude sitting next to her takes off his sportcoat, wraps a scarf around his neck, puts on a bright blue ball cap (who is this guy - Mr. Rogers?) clears his throat and starts hitting on her.
Very, very badly.
At one time, I giggled, and he turned around to look at me.
Rabbi man, sitting next to me, takes this moment to notice I'm reading one of the Sookie Stackhouse books (HBO TrueBlood is based on them)....and gives me a "you're going to hell, and you're going to take us all with you" look....and starts scribbling furiously in his book.
I love flying.