Planes fascinate me and scare the hell out of me at the same time. I mean, honestly, who had the crazy idea of sending a ton of steel into the sky and praying that it would stay up there until the clever pilot hopefully brought it down in exactly the right spot? I’ll google that. Maybe I learnt that at school but I have long since forgotten.
What fascinates me most are the people on a plane. The old, the young and the in-betweenies.
The one we crowded onto last week was full of passengers who were all going to the same destination so I would be able to observe these strangers for a whole week and try to figure out their weird and wonderful, or horribly quiet and ordinary lives.
One particularly mismatched family just baffled me.
Him – long-legged, dark, slim, trendy baggy shorts .
Her – Miss Prim and Proper, short badly-cut dirty blond hair, with a very loud, annoyingly nasal voice.
The child – a ginger-haired, milky-skinned, quiet-spoken girl.
The grandmother – I couldn’t decide whether she was his or her mum, posh, attractive, spraying a lot of suntan cream on all of them all the time.
How on earth did they get together? What did he see in her? What did she see in him? How did dark and blonde make ginger?
They practically never spoke to each other. She was too busy yapping loudly to a new beach BFFAW (for a week) about the way she cooked lentils. He jumped off his lounger every five minutes with a tiny earpiece stuck deep into his auditory canal, chatting away to his office about late deliveries.
The child just kept getting sprayed white by her Granny, keeping both of them busy for pretty much the entire day.
What was their story? Why there? Why that week? Why was Granny alone – divorced, widowed, just left poor old Bertie at home? What did they speak about at night apart from lentils, late deliveries and suntan lotion?
I’ll never know now. I didn’t talk to any of them, but I would probably have only chatted to the little girl in any case. The others didn’t really take my fancy.
What a dreadful thing to say! For all I know they could have been playing the same game as I was – eyeing us up, putting us down, wondering what could possibly have brought us together. The tall, grey-bearded, balding Frenchman with the small, dyed-copper, fifty-something Scot, accompanied by the two beautiful, blonde, bilingual girls.
How mismatched a bunch did we seem to them?
Erm, we were probably one of the biggest bags of pick n’ mix people to get on and off that stupid plane.
But surely that’s the best bit about us?