The International Writers Magazine
of flying? You are not alone.
for most people, air travel has become a necessary part of the travel
experience these days. I say "unfortunately" because flying
fills me with dread; or, to be more precise, the fear of crashing.
Flying in itself is a fabulous experience.
a feeling to be in the air at thirty-five thousand feet, looking down
on the earth below. But the fear of crashing usually takes over during
take-off, landing and bouts of turbulence. I can never quite believe
that the plane is able to go from standing still on the ground to some
outrageous speed and height in a matter of minutes. And landing: I am
always amazed that we glide onto the runway instead of crashing head
first into it.
On my last flight, it was the turbulence that did it for me. It always
occurred at the point when the cabin-crew came around with the coffee.
I could already feel the plane shaking around in no-mans land, but as
soon as the coffee hit the cup, it sloshed from side to side, reinforcing
the feeling that we were all about to die in some hideous crash. Coffee
and turbulence do not mix.
At some point, the reassuring voice of the first officer or pilot comes
over the tannoy system, offering some comfort. The voice tells us about
the flight path. Apparently we will be flying over Bulgaria, Turkey,
Iran and Pakistan. We are even told which cities we will be flying over.
Then we are told that if there are any changes to the flight path (like
an imminent crash?), we will be informed accordingly. That was very
good of the first officer because at least I could then change my on-board
travelling itinerary - from gazing out of the window to... well, er...
just gazing out of the window.
Entering the airport before the flight just made things worse. The butterflies
were already having a field day in my stomach due to my fear of flying
(or should I say, crashing?). Yet as soon as I enter it became a case
of butterfly overload. Suddenly from normal citizen I am transformed
into potential terrorist, smuggler or any other form of criminal that
the authorities can dream up. I feel the gaze of officials and CCTV
cameras burning into me - and, of course, the swarm of swirling butterflies
still pecking away deep inside.
Just as I become potentially the worlds worst criminal hell bent
on sabotage in the air, I suddenly realise that I will be soon on the
plane possibly sitting next to the worlds worst criminal hell
bent on sabotage in the air. Fear of flying, fear of crashing, fear
of butterflies, fear of everything; no wonder I must have the look of
a crazed maniac to the authorities. Its all their fault in the
first place for inducing this paranoia. I suppose they already know
this, but have neatly carved out a well-paid world of security mania
© Colin Todhunter Feb 2004
Hacktreks in all the world's corners
all rights reserved