People Watching a Life Time of practice
It all started with my Mum, she loved people, she loved watching people.
From a young age she encouraged me to watch and see what was going on. Where ever we went she would be talking to different people, when asked ‘Who was that Mummy?’ her reply often would be ‘I don’t know’. It was an ease she had that draw what I now called ‘Ramdomers’ (people you don’t know) into talking to her. I like to think I have inherited a small amount of her talent with people.
Over the weekend I found myself on another journey from Spain to UK, over the last few years this has become a common commute for me, although now it is by choice not necessity. Planes are a great place to watch people, listen to people and for me talk to Ramdomers, to be fair if they are sat next to me it is difficult to escape on a plane.
I have had the most wonderful conversations and met people who I would have liked to stay in touch with.
I have also observed some very bad mannered people, I like to think that they just had cabin fever and the situations I have seen, were just someone suffering from a bad day, that is not something I will be rushing to ask some of the more abusive of them.
The queues are normally the first source of amazement for someone like me that just observes.
The priority boarding line (this is the line of people who have paid more to get on the plane first), often you have one person intent on making sure the people in front of them should be there, by checking boarding passes. I don’t understand it myself, we all have a seat, what’s the rush ? A rush to stand in line at Murcia this is outside in the sun with no shade and is normally for a minimum of ten minutes, then to sit on the plane a few minutes longer than the minions like me that haven’t paid to be speedy. The plane isn’t leaving any quicker because some are on it faster than others.
Then there is the saga of bags, because the airlines charge so much for hold baggage there is not enough room in the aircraft for all hand baggage. The staff try to get some of the passengers to put their hand luggage in the hold, to be fair if they asked me I’d say no. I want to be gone when I land and not waiting for my bag.
I always do the ‘dance of the handbag’ because you are only allowed one piece of hand luggage and NO handbag. I either put it in my little case, which can be tricky or now (after a tip off) into a duty free bag. Once through the gate out it comes again, because it has everything I will need on route in it, I always do this before boarding so not to hold others up, but REALLY, it will fit under my seat, so where’s the problem.
The overhead lockers caused an issue this time round, two young women around 20 years old, where placing their bags in, when a gruff, well built 60 something Gentleman, pushed them out of the way, aggressively informing them that he was sat there and that was where his bag was going. He was so rude and with still plenty of room, it really was an uncalled for comment. One of the women and good for her, told him that he was being rude and that a please worked miracles, well done that women.
That was not the end of the Gentleman’s contributions, oh, no, he was sat right behind me and shared freely his questionable views on other passengers and life in general.
Sat in front were a young family, with two very pretty little girls, sadly their behaviour did not match their beauty.
The oldest was 5 or 6 and the youngest about 3.
Now I do hold strong views about children’s behaviour, in my opinion they should know the difference from right and wrong, express themselves, but in a positive way. Understand what behaviour is acceptable where and when. Anything that affects safety is not up for discussion at any age !
I used to ask my kids when ever we were out and about, restaurant, plane, any place there was likely to be more adults than children ‘ Can you see any other children? no then I expect you to behaviour like an adult’ remarkably they did.
These little darlings however, refused to put their seat belts on, the air hostess was forced to give up in the end as they screamed the plane out of the sky. They screamed for chocolate, the oldest screamed insults at her mother, when the mother tried to get her to put her belt on, it was uncomfortable to watch.
I felt sorry for the parents they have to live with this, I only had to endure it for a few hours. It highlights the fact that kids need boundaries, love, loads and loads of love but with boundaries.
The Gentleman was clearly not a parent when he commented that children under 6 years old should not be allowed to fly. He stated it was because of their ears hurting, yes its true it can effect their ears, but if you teach them to suck a sweet or drink water on the way up and down it is eased. I know because this is what my parents did with me when I was young. In this case the girls were just badly behaved and not in pain.
The Gentleman advises parents to take their summer holidays at the British sea side, which does clearly have advantages, but not all children traveling are going on holiday, some are visiting family.
Next time you are on a plane, watch and you will be amazed at the arrogance of some and the compassion of others.
People are so different it always amazes me and entertains, although sometimes after the event !