Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I hate flying

Although it may sound illogical for someone as infatuated with technology as I am to say something like that, it makes perfect sense to me.

I trust the technology and the physics of flying… lift vs. thrust and all of that. Although for someone who spends as much time immersed in the Star Trek universe as I do, I find that brute force approach to flight somewhat distasteful… even barbaric. An anti-gravity matrix guided by reaction-control thrusters is far more elegant. One day we’ll have that for real.

Although this morning was only my second time in an aeroplane, I’m beginning to get used to the bumps and noises associated with this (statistically very safe) mode of transportation.

The worst part is that aeroplanes are too small for me.

I’m a big person. I’m about 1.94 meters tall (plus minus 6’4”) and weigh roughly 110 kilograms (just shy of 250 lbs). I’ve got pretty broad shoulders and a few excess kilos around the middle.

I’m no giant, but I’m just large enough so that no facility designed for use by the average human is big enough for me. Cinemas, busses, trains, roller-coasters, couches, beds, you name it, are all too small for me. I can usually fit, but it’s always a squeeze, and hardly ever really comfortable.

When talking about flying economy class on a tiny little Boeing 737-500 as I did this morning, and will be doing a few times over the next few weeks, it’s not something I look forward to.

When sitting in the middle seat in a row of three, with a large gent on either side of me and my knees going numb from being pressed into the back of the seat in front of me, it’s an exercise in logistics to even get my tray-table down, let alone to consume the little in-flight breakfast they provided me with.

Fortunately Joburg to Port Elizabeth is only a one and a half hour flight… but I’m not looking forward to having to repeat that experience.

Three words flash through my mind constantly: “deep vein thrombosis”.

Aside – Explain this to me: They won’t let me take my multitool on the plane with me… very sensible, I may try to hijack the plane with it. But then why do they give me a metal knife and fork with which to eat my in-flight meal? Even a plastic tea-spoon can easily be made into a shiv!