What to do in 12 hours?
I will be flying to London tomorrow midnight. It’s going to be a 12-hour flight.
It should not be pleasant - confined to a small space flanked by strangers. In recent trips, I have found passenger seats getting narrower. Or maybe I have grown bigger! The first 5 hours are bearable. I can be flipping through the pages of the Shopping Catalogue or choosing a movie or two to watch.
Soon, the pain creeps in. My neck, shoulders and legs cramp. Time to get up! I pluck up enough courage to do the hateful task of waking up a sound asleep neighbour to stand up for me to get out from my window seat. Sometimes, I wonder whether it is worth all the trouble when after all the maneuvering, there is only that short corridor to stretch out in. I have to be most gentle in my moves to make sure that my hands would not land on somebody’s face.
Toilet breaks are not pleasant either. The washroom is so small that I have to hold my breath and tuck my tummy in to get the door locked. And worst of all, it is not always clean.
Then comes meal time. For Economy Class passengers like me, it takes a lot of balancing skills and focus to finish the task. Once a tour guide said that we should move our arms and fingers like a grasshopper and definitely not sideways. If we want to spread out freely like a bat, then we have to pay for the expensive Business Class or First Class. Poor me, I have always been the grasshopper!
Well, when it is into the 8th or 9th hours, I can actually see my skin crumple with lines appearing all over my face. My eyes might be shut but I am not asleep despite all the fatigue. I put up my hand and ask for water which comes in a tiny cup! Another movie then! But the head is so heavy, the screen so small, the sound so blurred that I cannot follow the storyline.