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Published: June 10th 2017
Geo: 28.6137, 77.1834
I arrived at the Delhi airport late Friday night after a surprisingly fairly pleasant day of travelling. One big surprise, on the second flight from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi was that I was in the first row behind first class: lots of leg room, space for overhead luggage, more room to move around, all things passengers now pay extra for when purchasing their tickets. However, I quickly realized that the other three seats adjoining mine were to be occupied by a family of four, including a baby who had made himself known back in the waiting lounge. The flight was about six hours long; we were to arrive before 10PM, so I thought everything would be okay as it was not an overnight flight.
The baby turned out to be delightful. He had beautiful dark eyes and smiled at me, mimicked what I did, and reached for my hand. Very sweet baby. It was his mother who was the problem; even from the first, she put her backpack down almost on top of my feet, flounced over into my seat, threw her scarf on my head, flung her unfastened seatbelt onto my lap, and generally took up far more than her allotted space. I pushed her backpack over in front of her foot space, put her seatbelt back on her seat, her scarf back into her seat, and at first gently leaned into what I figured was half of the armrest, trying to claim my expensive seat as my own space. Subtlety did not work. I was forced to lean heavily against her, actively trying to push her back into her own seat, hoping that she would realize what she was doing with her rather large body. Apparently she was used to getting her own way, but I was determined to claim my small space for myself, if at all possible.
The worst thing was that I wondered if all people from India pushed others around this way, and then I felt horribly judgmental, as how could I even think that from one person's actions? But I have been in groups of Chinese people; they push and shove; they do not respect lines. If you wait patiently in a line with a group of Chinese you will never get to the front as everyone else will push in front of you. Were people from India the same? Would I have to shove back and force my way in India? Unpleasant thoughts, as pushing people around is not one of my talents or pleasures.
The mother finally fell asleep, again spilling over into my seat, so I persistently leaned back against her (there was really no other choice unless I wanted to hang over into the aisle); she finally moved her body so that her butt was facing me and she was now hanging over into her son's seat, but at least she was enclosed in her family's own space. With three seats for their family (the baby bassinet hangs separately on the wall) I wondered why she chose to sit next to me; she could have sat in the other aisle seat where her husband was, and had the whole aisle space to also claim as her own, or in their middle seat and had the luxury of spilling over into the two seats on both sides of her. I'm just lucky, I guess. But then the drinks cart appeared. Red wine, please, this time. The rest of the flight was much smoother.
Tot: 0.175s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 13; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0211s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb