Fasten your seatbelts …… for some on-board ramblings. Let me introduce to you to lovely Peach Piche, the owner of Fresh Eyes and founder of Drinkerbell (founded after her daughter’s drink was spiked). Peach has a humour to wish for and contagious enthusiasm for life to transform any scowl into a smile.

Her professional life revolves around people, meetings and a bit of travel.  Today she regales us with a recent experience on a flight between Johannesburg & Durban in March 2022. We are all returning to ‘normal’ – with change – and I believe somewhere in here you will find yourself and have a good ole giggle. 

Take it away – Peach ………………..

“New prize winner – tonight I found a new champion for questionable on board practices.
Not only was she a winner BUT she sat right next to me. I didn’t suspect a thing when she whipped out a lil pack of Kleenex, that’s quite socially acceptable. Well, until the spit balls came bursting out of her face. She tore the tissue up, enrobed it in the cascading spit and rolled it into what represented a squishy snail without a shell. I had the dilemma as to whether to strain my eyeballs looking at this in morbid fascination while my head faced forward or avert my gaze to avoid the trauma. You cannot un-see that.

GALE FORCE AIRCON                                                                                                                                      Wait, there’s more, those soggy lil guys were then squished into her ears with great abandon – home-made ear plugs. TADAH! Very proud of herself …. so resourceful! Once my nausea subsided I was made aware of the intensity of the noise of the on-board air thingy. It was deafening and was blowing so hard some dear old chap nearly lost his toupee. I think the technician who serviced this plane was trained at Woolworths. Brrrrr.

Another thing that really stood out tonight is that, despite enforced social distancing in the airport building, we were crammed like sardines who met their fate at the Lucky (not so lucky) Star factory. First time in ages I was HAPPY to wear a mask. I might have been spraying sanitizer like eau de cologne. Hope I’m not stopped in a road block. Have you seen the alcohol content in that stuff?

Also, if there were 200 passengers there were 600 on board bags. What is it with that? Check your bags in for heavens sake. We had a 15 minutes late departure due to the cabin crew playing a forced game of Tetris in the overhead compartments. Never mind flotation devices, they should issue us with hard hats because when that overhead luggage compartment is opened, it will be carnage. I fear it is not going to end well. It is also like a treasure hunt because the lady in row 15 had her bag stowed above row 27 – find your bag and win a Nissan. Serves you right for bringing 3 bags on board. They have a carousel for a reason.

Flying Sardine Style

Flying Sardines

There’s a lovely chappie who is the Head Cabin crew guy and I am fascinated that he never switched the lights on after they were dimmed for take off. I smell a rat …. I think he is quite discerning and could see some goings on from that front seat too after his “cross check”. Keep them in the dark …..

For the first time in years, the turbulence we are experiencing in this storm tonight is making me a little twitchy. I think a few people on this flight have become quite religious as the lightening emulates a 70’s disco out the window and it feels like we have taken a 4 x 4 route home. Truth is, when we were taxiing before take off, I thought the pilot had taken the instruction literally as he taxied for so long I had to check the logo in front of me to see if it was, in fact, Safair or I’d erroneously boarded the Greyhound bus. We drove on the runway as long as we were in the air … okay maybe not, but was longer than usual, I think I’m tired, and squashed, and did I mention the lady spitting in her tissue? EEUK

It was sad to see the Green planes grounded and I feel for all the people affected – it’s been a nightmare but I’m so glad I had chosen and booked pink. I like pink.

The gentleman who misinterpreted me as moving up a seat in the waiting area for me wanting to know his life story) has “resigned” from Tops and is relocating back to Durban (at this time of night) and kindly offered me a swig of the red wine he had in his gym water bottle. I gracefully declined but now think he is onto something, he might’ve known about the turbulence. Glad I’m determined to make healthy choices.  Those trolley dollies had to do a Hussein Bolt up and down the aisle to see to everyone in between doing the cha cha cha to maintain their balance on the short flight and the fact that the seatbelt signs were only switched off after what felt like we were already over Harrismith. I think they might need to order passenger assistance for the guy with the gym bottle. Might be a toss up though as I’ve spotted a gent who either has an extremely nervous twitch, has something in his eye or is having an episode. Glad they told us the crew are trained for medical emergencies as my first aid skills are a bit rusty and, between these 2, someone is going to need an intervention. I’m stretching my mask to see if it fits over my eyes.

The shiny shoes at the end of the businessman’s cramped legs, the guy with the headphones bobbing his head like he has been transported to Rap heaven and the voice of the pilot, which was like a balm for my soul when we were being shaken about, were all welcome distractions. I am going to have a chat with Kirby Gordon though, as I had no barf bag and, although the lady in seat 3E pinched hers and stuck it in her bag as a souvenir, I could well have needed one tonight. Oh wait, my neighbour still has half a pack of tissues. Those might come in handy. I am going to have to interrupt her gossip sesh with her friend though because right now it’s all about how old Mavis is looking… “aargh shame, its terrrrrible.” Can relate, I think this flight might’ve aged me LOL.

GLAM GRAN – TINDER                                                                                                                                             I also think I’m going to tell the glam gran with the newly set hairdo, foils and gold sandals that she looks fab! Hmmmm …. wonder who she is meeting on the other side. Grandkids? Tinder date for seniors? (Might be a bit late for old chaps to do airport pick ups). Who cares, she looks fab and deserves to be happy. Her hair might frizz in the rain though.

Green Machines

Kalula on sleep watch

All people watching aside, I love the kaleidoscope of colour and diversity, that everyone has a story – has left someone behind or is going to meet someone. A mish mash of happy and sad stories no doubt, but right now we all have at least one thing in common …. it is late, we want to arrive safely and everyone needs empathy and kindness. EVERYONE!

I am going to hot foot it outta here before the ex Tops man tries to engage as he is 750ml of plonk down and I’m bleak that my watch battery has died and I can’t count the steps as our plane got the cheap seats parking and it is like a Park Run to the terminal building. The rain is bucketing down, I’m grateful for the We Park You Fly cos I’d hate to have another trek across the parking garage at this time of night and not looking forward to the drive back to Hillcrest in the torrential rain. Will only get home after 22h30. What I am looking forward to is going home to my darling, a place I am safe, loved and happy.

Sleep tight, stay safe, warm and dry.

PS After today I think Zoom Teams meetings for the win LOL”

FACEBOOK COMMENTS                                                                                                                                  Peach originally posted on her Facebook page, where I spotted her story, which received more than 60 comments, 41 laugh emojis and more – we’ve all been there & variations of done that!

Boudicca Rising – “Ah thank you for making my day a little better! Hilarious!.
Tammy Woodroffe – “Just in between two flights and it so resonated! 🙂 especially the freezing part. Jeepers what is with that!”
Julie Goldman – “Peaches this made my day”