A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
THE UGLY TRAVELLER
“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” - Proverbs 26:12
While travelling I was once again painfully aware of some people that do not make good travellers. Most of the fellow passengers I meet on my travels are decent and considerate, they are respectful of the other people around them and generally make the trip an easy one, However, every now and then, one meets the “traveller from hell” that makes the trip a nightmare. You know the one: Loud, obnoxious, selfish, inconsiderate, oafish and rude. This sort of traveller can ruin the whole trip, not only for you, but for a large number of other people too.
I pity the flight attendants who have to deal with this type of traveller on a regular basis, whereas I can always say to myself: “This too shall pass, I shall soon be home and be rid of this nuisance!” On this recent trip, there was one these travellers sitting two rows behind me and the whole plane was aware of his presence. A very loud voice that proclaimed inanity upon inanity, a raucous laugh (at his own jokes – not amusing) and an attitude towards the flight attendants that verged on insult. Their professionalism and patience when dealing with this person amazed me.
My observations were timely as in the news in this evening’s paper there was a report of a similar incident on a flight from LA to Sydney where one Brian McFadden was apparently involved in an unfortunate “bad traveller” incident. I had to look up who this person was, even though the article assured me of his fame. Apparently he is a singer, talent show judge and Delta Goodrem’s fiancé (the significance of all these things was once again lost on me, but I admit I lead a sheltered life). Allegedly, the “star” was drunk, abusive, disruptive and also smoked on board the jet, running from his business class section into the economy cabin and having to be restrained by fellow traveller (and equally famous) Kyle Sandilands (who is an Australian radio and TV personality, I am advised).
The “stars” denied the allegations and although Australian Federal Police were on standby when the delayed flight landed in Sydney, the pair were released as the airline did not press charges. Twitter entries by McFadden and Goodrem sprang into damage control mode and remarks by McFadden about his “favourite airline V Australia” and the “very nice Virgin staff” hints at an “agreement” having been reached before the plane landed.
Fame does strange things to people and oh, so many of them assume a god-like attitude that is offensive and ridiculous at the same time. One is tempted to laugh if it weren’t so annoying and insulting to the “ordinary people” like us. Young sportspeople are some of the worse offenders and their shenanigans are the embarrassment of their coaches, their sporting clubs and their families. Their doting fans seem to be unfazed and they will forgive them anything, something that fuels further their self-importance and lengthens the list of their misdemeanours. As far as actors go, well, let’s not go there. I think the latest nonsense that Charlie Sheen has been guilty of, is a good example of silliness magnified by fame.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.