Friday, October 03, 2008

The Drift list of Travel DOS and DONTS

Traveling anywhere can be a test of patience. Long ago I decided it go Maharshi with the whole concept and treat the travails of travel as part of the journey to mera goan mera desh. This helped me relax, cocoon myself from the world of annoyingly inconsiderate travellers and have much fun along the way.

Yet a few things remain that snap me out of my travel trance and make me feel negative-like. These are my list of DONTS.

DONT: If you get in an airport shuttle and plan to grab an overhead rod, thus exposing your underarms to me, you'd better be wearing some deodarant. How to know you are smelling stale? Take a look at my face. If it is any paler than a tan, you're less than fresh. Please move to a sidebar grip - preferably opposite mine and at the far end of the vehicle.

DONT: Its best not to stuff yourself at dinner time. But if you do, avoid yawning or burping right over my nose when I'm sleeping in the Tansen posture with my head tilted to your side. I rarely wake up over a certain type of smell, but in this case I've found my body makes a spontaneous exception. Bonus markdown if you see me wake up with a start and smile and greet me with "Good morning!"

DONT: If you are planning to stuff something in the overhead compartment above my head, by all means do so. Take your time, stand on your tippy toes, whatever. But try not to jam your groin into my shoulder. This type of humping is uncalled for.

DONT: For god's sake, don't get all defensive about your country and try to slam it when explaining things to first-time visitors. Especially avoid brilliant observations like "You'd think the signs would be in English, no?" No.

DONT: If you plan to do cricket commentary, please don't be Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and spout repetitive and unhelpful observations in a faux English accent. If you are Arun Lal , avoid saying "nego-see-ate" - you can't ape just one word and pass off for a plummy British commentator. OK, this last one has nothing to do with travel, but I thought I'd slip it in there.

To stay positive about my travels I thought I'd also list some DOS.

DO: Do get up on the baggage weighing machine during check-in thinking the airline wants to weigh you and not your bags. I've seen this only once, but I'd love to be entertained by such a sight on every trip.

DO: If you are more than four seats away from me, do pick your nose or adjust your package with a flourish. It fascinates me endlessly to see how oblivious people can be when performing bodily housekeeping in public.

DO: Feel free to discuss just about anything. I'm always amazed at the propensity of people to devour global information, analyze it and redistribute it. And from the junta, I always get a welcome perspective that newspapers might dismiss as being too simplistic.

Note: Random pictures from my travels are not related to anyone in the post

Also:

49 comments:

Pankha said...

Gifted Aspindran ! Excellent and Enjoyable writing.

bollywoodjunkie said...

hilarious!!!
i likd the randome topic uve selected... kafi hatke frm the usual ones...n i lik the randome pictures even better.

btw drona ko dekh ke ayega rona...IT SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSS

bollywoodjunkie said...

sorry dat was random...e not reqd

ive gone mad after watchin the useless film

girlie girl said...

Wah wah aspi! Another homerun as far as blogs go! THis list will definitely help me when i'm traveling to India next week. May I add one more to the list? I think my biggest don't is to not unpack all the dhokla, paranthas and pickles as soon as you board the plane. Please, I DO NOT need to have that smell around me the entire flight to India. Especially since I'm flying non-stop, that will drive me just crazy!

P.S. love the random pictures!

Busy Bee said...

LOL, good tips to keep in mind for my travel to India later this year!

I will need a refresher course about our deshwasis before I make my way back after a looong period.

Anonymous said...

good one aspi..
but despite of your disclaimer note, the individual in the first pic closely resembles a particular producer - director - music composer - singer turned actor - musical reality show judge
-Bee

Aspi said...

What?! Am I the only one who gets tortured like this when I travel? No one has any bad ass stories :)

bollywoodjunkie, welcome back. Hope the exams went well. I was still planning to take the kids to see Drona (after all I sit through a lot of Disney crap also), but I read somewhere it might be scary/brutal. Do you think a 9 and 6 year old can handle it?

Kanan said...

Hahahaha!

Perfect post for a Friday morning. Aspi, you make my day. I love the monkey photo the best. :D

Did you read about some of my travel adventures here? No, you aren't the only one.

I do hate being on the receiving end of that third DONT. Grrr!

Anonymous said...

Heh - good one Aspi!

I'll add:

DON'T - ask me, when I am travelling alone, with an obvious "office laptop" if I work, what I do, how many kids I have, how I could bear to leave them and travel!

DON'T - fart! (yes, I always seem to get seatmates with upset stomachs!)

DON'T - give yourself any form of manicure in your seat - that includes filing, cutting your nails or applying nail polish!

DON'T - fidget endlessly in your seat! (to adults - I understand kids have lower limits) - the seats are NOT designed for adults to keep shifting. (exception - the older lady who traveled with me from Chicago to India once, she had a bad back and the seat was excruciatingly uncomfortable)

DON'T - when you're done eating, park sundry uneaten bits of your meal on the floor by your feet. You invariably fall asleep and the rolls and fruit plate wind up under my feet!

Bitterlemons

Aspi said...

heh heh. This last flight a guy came in near my seat (I always take the aisle on the side).

He had a center aisle but an older lady was occupying it. He politely pointed out that the lady should be in the center middle (aka the nightmare seat).

The lady stayed in her spot, smiled sweetly and said (somewhat loudly): "beta, mujhe to peshaap ki badi musibat hai. Agar tum meri woh seat pe bethoge to bahut meherbani hogi"

That poor guy had to take the middle seat. Best of all, he had a nice jacket on and it wasn't so nice after 14 hours in the middle seat.

girlie girl said...

ohh, TMI old lady, TMI!! Dont you love it when Indian people just share things like that to strangers! I hate it when as soon as the food arrives, people say, "i get so gassy from airline food" yet they have no problem eating it all up!! I mean, COME ON!! Spare us a little...

Drift memsaab said...

Aspi,
Fully endorse your DON'Ts.
As for your DOs...enjoy them when you are travelling solo! (They are still Don't for me.)

My universal don't...DO NOT pee on the airplane bathroom floor.

j said...

DONT: Jabber with someone all the way. Other passengers are trying to sleep or read. (Although I have to admit some of these conversations are entertaining)

DONT: Let your kids kick the seat in front of them constantly. I am a magnet for these kids and somehow get one in every other flight.

DONT: Touch my luggage and start loading/unloading unless I have asked you to do it.

DONT: Take your sweet time in loading your luggage in the overhead bin. Specially when people behind you are trying to get to their seats.

I have to agree, the burping of Indian's really irritates me. I am sure they know that it is not nice to do that in public.

Mind Rush said...

My analysis of all the Dont's listed here....
Travellers are so constrained and frustrated these days due to cramped seats and delays that these are acts of defiance, acts of hostility and at times, acts of claiming their identity.

People are saying: I don't give a damn! I hate the airlines, I couldn't care less for fellow passengers and I am going to do as I please.

Please note: Mind Rush does not endorse these behaviors. Please make an appointment to work out your anger issues in a socially appropriate way.

Aspi said...

Peeing on the bathroom floor - how could I have forgotten that. In fact I can't decide what's grosser. A floor someone has peed on or watching someone walk into that can with only their socks on. At that point, its like watching one of those disasters in slow motion like in the movies.

j, lately I've seen boarding passenger lines held up because people are standing in the aisles negotiating seating arrangements with other passengers.

Pitu said...

Hahahaha awesome! :-D

Pitu said...

I can't decide if this is a do or don't. I always get asked by random old people if I'd fill out their disembarkation forms. OTOH I know I shd be a 'decent, sincere Indian garll' and do it but on the other hand, it gets old really quickly esp when said old person doesn't speak English or Hindi and I cannot understand when they say things like 'Address in Amreeka? Yes yes my son he is Shicago. Yes. Hmm, someting Abenyoo yes" GROAN!

Asif Z said...

Ever since I took up my new post I have to fly first class. This is bad because no longer can I pretend to be fast asleep and end up on the shoulder of the mohtarma next to me. These first class seats are just too far apart!

Sad, sad times for the A-man.

nawaz s said...

Asifbhai, after the Palin meeting I got this strange message from Condi Rice. It said:

"You are being notified of a Weapon of Mass Flirtation. Please keep sequestered"

Ever since then, we've been booking you in First Class. Otherwise if we had kept you in economy our budget would have gotten balanced long ago.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakistani fellow bloggers, you have me in splits!

Condi Rice said...

Asif, no one flirts with me :( If I make another visit to - what was it again - Bangladesh? will you flirt with me. It will make me so happy!

Asif Z said...

You have reached Asif Z's answering machine. It is currently full. Asif is out of the country for the next year. There is no way to reach him. Tough luck for you.

Condi Rice said...

:(

Nawaz are you available?

Nawaz S said...

Yes Ms. Rice. Please sign off on the latest billion dollar aid package and proceed to Bangladesh.

Asif Z said...

Nawaz, you rascal!

Good one!!

Anonymous said...

You guys smell.

bollywoodjunkie said...

aspi yeah they say Drona is for kids....so u can take ur kids....but dont be upset if they insist on leaving their seats n runnin arnd in the movie hall....wont blame them!!!

bollywoodjunkie said...

btw jus heard Dostana

its too cool!!!! looovvvvveeeed it!!!!!!!!

Aspi review mangta hai!!!!

Aspi said...

bollywoodjunkie, Vishal will be on the Drift either tomorrow or Monday to talk about Dostana. I'm finding a good picture or two that we both think will look cool.

Aspi said...

Anon, who smells? Come on, engage with me here - can you smell the Happy I have on? Do I smell like Canadian Bacon?

Abusing just me is perfectly ok and I welcome the feedback.

Give me specifics on what you like and tell me how to change it without sounding like an outsider looking in. Pick a fake name (like say Smell Detector) so we know its you.

Anonymous said...

Haha @ the indian auntie on the aisle seat! I can never understand why Indian people think it's okay to discuss such things in public with random strangers (or colleagues).
Last time I went on a business trip, we asked an Indian guy in the team (who'd been there a while) if the Indian restaurant across the street from the office was any good. This was while we were having dinner. He tells us the food tastes good but "last time I ate it I had LOOSE MOTIONS for two days."
The next time I eat out with a different bunch of colleagues at a Mexican place, another Indian guy volunteers to tells us he doesn't like beans because they give him "LAAAAAAT AAF GAS."
And this very morning, my Mom (visiting from India) and I are eating breakfast when I notice an insect on the window and get a little startled. She starts talking about how my bro and I are both wimps, especially him who would notice an insect in the bathroom and start crying WHILE HE WAS DOING IT. Great breakfast conversation, right?
-H&R

bollywoodjunkie said...

woohoo woohoo

m so happy n eager .....thanks Aspi.....U ROCK!!!

Smell Detector said...

Aspi,you smell FANTASTICCC.Equivalent to heaven.

Smell Detector said...

Aspi,I'm your biggest fan alive.Weee loveeee yooou.You define awesomeness.Someone pleeeease creaaate a Aspi fanclub.I wanna join soooo badlyyy.

Smell Detector said...

Aspi ki jai ho,Aspi ki jai ho!

Smell Detector said...

Btw I absolutely loveee your name Aspi.It's just soooo wicked.

A-S-P-I

Wow,what a name.

xoxangelxox said...

Woah Smell Detectorji,you have quite a strong nose to be able to sense things virtually.

xoxangelxox said...

Anyhoo,have any of my fellow homies checked out Kidnap yet?

I for one,am really disappointed after reading the reviews.I hope the film isn't as big a letdown as the reviews make it out to be.

I'll still give it a go for the hotness of Imran Khan (strictly in the movie ofcourse),he ain't that hot in real life.

Aspi said...

H&R that is a whole wonderful topic you've broached. I've often hosted people from the des feel compelled to explain in detail why they need a quick bathroom stop before their flight.

xoxangelxox, haven't heard anything about Kidnap. But boy, people have been trashing Drona left and right.

smell detector, enough with the leg pulling yaar. One of these days the real one will be back and in full on pissed mode.

PS said...

Aspi:
Don't Forget to have Condi Chawla's interview for your Blog !

Anonymous said...

Aspi rocks<3

SeemaB said...

KIDNAP is a much better movie than its current reviews suggest it is. Saw it last night and really liked it. As did the six other people I saw it with. So it's definitely worth checking it out.

Aspi said...

ps, condi chawla? Who it is?

seemab, welcome. I'm hearing similar things about Kidnap. If you get a chance to revisit, tell us what you liked about it most.

Aspi said...

And Anon, what is <3 mean? Is that a halter top?

Mind Rush said...

<3 = halter top?? Hmmm....

Mind Rush chupp hua....

Anonymous said...

Condi Chawla is Condi Rice
( Indianized )

PS said...

Seen a slick movie with Naseer and Kher ( Its a Wednesday )
Strongly recommended !

Cinderella said...

i LOVE to travel.
to not-so familiar places.among people i don't know.with an uncertainity of what to expect and what not to.
some people are more than caring,some funny and some sooo over-sleepy.random talks,showing off their skills, knowledge and sometimes their flirting abilities too:-P
i even came across some people who tell their entire life history to their fellow passengers:)
they all make travelling soo much more interesting:-)

ritha said...

ROFL...awesome post Aspi!
ROFL@your halter top comment....