Monday, March 26, 2007

Home Sweet Home.

One week on Gozo and my batteries have been recharged again ready to take on the onslaught of London life.
Gill and I needed this break and it did the job. We had a great time as usual catching up with friends etc, Gills parents joined us half way through our stay and are staying on for a few extra days.
The weather was changeable with showers, wind, hail stones, lightening and sunshine, it seems that Malta and Gozo had a very mild January and February and they are paying for it now, we had a few nice days and it's the change of location that matters. Below a stormy day in Xlendi.

Human psychology, one of my favourite pass times is people watching, that is watching how people behave in different situations particularly when they are removed from their comfort zone, and the ideal place to do this are airport terminal buildings and planes, so these are a few observations I made on my return flight yesterday.
  • The public address system announces that the flight is ready for boarding, a mad rush takes place to get in the Que as quickly as possible...Why!..... On the Air Malta flight your seat has already been booked, no one else is going to sit in it.
  • You are advised to keep your seat in the upright position for take off and landing, and yet you always get a few people on sitting down the first thing that they do is recline their seats...Why!
  • On landing you are reminded to remain seated until the plane has come to a complete standstill, and yet as soon as the wheels hit the tarmac you here the familiar sound of clicking seat belts being unfastened.. Why!.... bear in mind that the plane can still be traveling at 100mph at this point and the time you are most at risk is take off and landing not when high in the air.
  • Now back to my first point about rushing to get onto the plane in the first place, a massive rush ensues to get off of the plane, overhead luggage lockers are opened and hand luggage is quickly retrieved for the rush to get out of the bloody plane, the isles of the plane are full of people waiting to exit the plane at the earliest opportunity, unfortunately it is going to be another 4 or 5 minutes before they open the doors, just chill man and stay seated.
  • The doors open and the sprint ensues to get through immigration to baggage reclaim as soon as possible, Why!! it is going to be at least a further 15 minuets before the luggage can be collected.
I travel quite a lot and this routine takes place on almost every flight I take, it almost appears that some passengers will do exactly the opposite of what is asked of them, I do find it very strange, but interesting all at the same time, I think they call it heard instinct. Am I the only one to find this behaviour strange?

"To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human".
Larry Wachowski


Grego said...

That is Maltese culture for you! On trips to Peru, it is similar, but people do wait until the plane actually **stops** before they throw off the seat belts and have a mad rush into the aisles. The Maltese are unbelievable on this one. I agree with you: unless you have a tight connection to catch, just sit back and chill out and let everyone run like mad. Then walk out of the plane calmly.

Steve said...

This is not unique to the Maltese, most people on the plane were in fact British.
I have seen the same on flights to Spain, Italy, France, Dubai, USA, Maldives, Sri Lanka.

Panta Rei said...

try to take things easy in those situations
mind you on a KLM flight to Amsterdam got badly stung in that after half the passengers had gone
there was a problem preventing the rest from getting off
after waiting half an hour finally got to baggage reclaim area, by then the next flights baggage was on the conveyor belt, feared the worst re my suitcase.. then spotted it literally sitting on the floor, isolated in the middle of the floor away from the reclaim area with people just milling around it
Was going to write to KLM (they have some of the rudest flight attendants around, which wasn't helpful, a friend says that's cause dutch people don't like to serve (!))
-- anyway, maybe I'll be darting for the exits in future when planes land... :-)