I have been taking a lot of trips to Asia lately. While that’s great for my airline mileage programs and I get a ton of fodder for the Senses Novels, it’s hard on the body. You see, I have a problem with air travel; I don’t sleep on planes.
As anyone that has flown to distant parts of the globe can tell you, a fourteen to sixteen-hour flight is designed with a wake-sleep cycle. I’m fortunate that the company that I work for recognizes my disabilities and allows me to fly a class that has seats that recline all the way flat so that I can, at least, rest. During the sleep portion of the flight, all of the lighting is turned off. This usually works out great, but on my last flight, I learned how rude people could be.
The class I was in was not filled the way it usually is, and I had no one sitting next to me. However, there were people across the aisle from me. One of these gentlemen, unfortunately, the one closest to me, decided that he did not need to wear headphones of any kind while watching movies on his tablet. Okay, I don’t sleep, but it’s pretty hard to rest when you can’t block out the noise of singing, guns, cars, and people speaking Chinese (whose only volumes appear to be loud and louder.) I am more than 70% deaf. I did indicate to the gentleman that the volume was too high. He gave me a slack-jawed stare and just went right back to his movie. Even the flight attendants were annoyed with this guy, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t get the message.
Naturally, during the wake cycle, he turned it off and tried to go to sleep. I was tempted to give back as was given, but that isn’t the way we are supposed to act, and I refrained (have you ever wondered why Jesus said, “get thee behind me Satan”? I would want him in front of me, so I could see what he was up to.)
So, after a 15-hour flight, a four-hour layover that stretched out because of delays and midnight dinner/breakfast stop, I am in recovery mode. Flying to Asia is nowhere near as hard as flying back to the U.S. for some reason. It takes me days to recover.
I have a fondness for the Chinese people that cannot be overstated, but it’s good to be home.
I am extending a special thank you to the men and women of the US Customs and Border Protection Service for their help and courtesy. You have a tough but important job, and you were very kind to a weary traveler.