A conversation with a few friends revealed that they unanimously agree plane rides are horrible. They hate flying and I am sure that will be the case for most people who have to fly frequently.
In my case though, I love flying.
And I say this regardless of what airline I fly. Yes that includes AirAsia.
I fly at least 4 times a year between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne, some years -taking into account my holiday travels- a few times more and I have still not gotten bored or sick of it. I remember the night before a family holiday to USA, laying on my bed wide awake as a child, dreaming about the plane ride and all that I could do on the plane. The fact that I will be visiting Beverly Hills or Disneyland didn't excite me as much as the plane ride.
Plane rides are uncomfortable, you don't get enough space for your legs or your arms, it is hard to get out of your seat, you can't lie down. So why do I love flying ?
Picture credits : picturedujour.com
One reason : Chance encounters.
I absolutely love the fact that I will be sitting next to a complete stranger for 8 hours. The most exciting part of it is when I reach my seat earlier, and then I can anticipate who I will be sitting with. I love talking to new people and learning about their different culture and background. Somehow it makes the world feel so small ! Yes, I am that annoying lady on the plane who wants to talk when you just want to sleep.
I have met so many interesting and intriguing people on the plane that I am led to believe I can never sit with a "wrong" person. It sometimes feel like it is fate that someone ends up next to me on the plane.
Sunrise taken on my trip to Japan
For example, the person next to me on my trip to Japan woke me up just to watch the sunrise. Other examples : if I never sat next to the man from Ethiopia on my flight back from Poland, my association to Ethiopia would always be "third world country" or "poverty". After my encounter with him, I got to learn a little bit more about Ethiopian culture and society. Also learnt that they are one of the largest coffee producers in the world ! If I didn't meet this Ethiopian, the Chinese sitting behind me wouldn't have overheard our conversation and talked to me. If it hadn't been for this Chinese man, I would have been lost in Warsaw's airport without a translator. (All their instructions and announcements were in Polish). In another flight, a conversation with a Saudi Arabian shed light on life in the Middle East. Did you know Saudi Arabia has no cinemas ? I was also amazed and intrigued by his lifestyle when he told me he has more than 20 brothers. He also kindly tried to teach me some Arabic words which much to his disappointment, didn't work out too well.
The list goes on and on.
Chance encounters on the plane not only makes the ride enjoyable, it makes me anticipate the flight. I wouldn't deny that the final destination is exciting; but I like to make the process of getting there worthwhile. Bam, life lesson right there.
Many affiliate airports and airplanes to farewells.
I see them as a place for new meetings.
Woohoo I am flying home in less than 2 weeks !!!!
Can't wait to finish all my exams and go home. See you soon, Sitiawan. xx