Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Passing The Time On The Airplane

Thankfully, on my last two flights, no one did their nail polish. It is really a selfish thing to do such a smelly thing in a confined space with other people; yet many people do it! But I was intrigued by what people did do. Many slept, listened to their CD players, read and slept, played with their computers, worked puzzle books, and talked a bit too loudly. You used to look forward to the meal service to pass the time, but those days are long gone when you see the flight attendants making their own meals by rolling up tortillas, with mayonnaise and sliced ham.
The people using their computers nearby cleaned out files, read old mail, did virus scans, etc. One guy politely played an action game on his lap so that the pounding of his computer would not annoy the neighbor in front unfortunate enough to have his tray table on the back of his seat. One passenger listened to several songs by Alison Krause on his Real Player; another played Solitare. Screen savers were also interesting, ranging from a galaxy of stars taken by the Hubble Telescope to a photo of moonlight rising over the ocean.
The most popular book was "The Tipping Point", definitely a good book that could engage you during a flight. One curious book was "The Anthropology of Turquoise", with reflections on the desert, sky, sea and stone. The strangest book was "Wi-Foo, The Secrets of Wireless Hacking, and he would read two pages of very small print which he underlined, listen to music, read again. I hope that he is not planning hacking into something terribly significant.
Myself, I read an old John Grisham novel, slept, and tried to keep my daughter from having a fight with the woman sitting behind her, after she resisted her attempts to put the seat back.