My neck is sweating. I didn’t know my neck could sweat.
Maybe it’s because I am about to board a plane, which can be stressful.
Or maybe, it’s because I’ve become the Michelin man, a dozen different items stuffed into every orifice of my small – but now rather lumpy – denim jacket, which is also squeezed over three jumpers.
In 29-degree heat. just so I don’t have to weigh them with my carry on.
My dream is to jet-set with just carry-on luggage. Waltzing on the plane with my small bag, then strutting off past those uncultured folks who are waiting for their luggage on the world’s worst rollercoaster. But airlines don’t want to make it easy for you.
First, it was about the size of the carry-on. Then it was the weight. Then it was both. Every year I feel like I am buying a new ‘meets the requirement’ bag. Some airlines graciously let you have a carry-on and purse. Which is vital in my opinion. I don’t want to rifle through my case every time they need to check my passport.
Recently, on an internal flight in Australia, I was met with such villainy.
I had my suitcase, (which I paid extra), my little meets-the-requirements carry-on, and my tiny, itsy-bitsy-barely holds my passport clutch. But surely, that won’t count.
As soon as I walk into the airport, I am selected to be in the exit aisle ‘in case of an emergency’. (They can clearly see greatness when it’s near). I am now basically on the same level of responsibility as the pilot. But then they have the audacity to weigh my case before allowing me to print my boarding pass, weighing my neck pillow and small clutch on top!
I am five kilos over.
They want me to save lives but won’t look the other way for a measly extra five kilos?
Ok, first of all, don’t be asking for favours, and then demand such things from me.
Five minutes ago, I was strutting into the airport, sunglasses on, coffee in hand and feeling badass. Now, I’m crouched on the floor in the corner like a savage, chucking out hair sprays, body lotions – anything disposable. In blistering heat in front of mystified travellers, I’ve finally managed to squash my denim jacket on top of three sweaters, making arm movement virtually non-existent. But that’s fine, until I start cramming things into numerous pockets. Chargers, GoPro, books – what’s more important, costly dry shampoo or jelly snakes? Bye bye dry shampoo, mama needs the sugar high.
Bags zipped up, I waddled over to the woman again. I look at her. She looks at me. I’m sure she’s marvelling at my new look; neck pillow on, six dress sizes larger with a mysterious bulge around my neck that could be mistaken for my clutch. However, there are no rules about how much I can weigh. She sighs and weighs my bag: 7kgs spot on.
Finally through customs and able to throw the now sticky layers back into my practically empty case, taking snacks and gadgets out of many different orifices, and proceed to buy more snacks (it has been very stressful), but also a boiled egg – for the protein.
Then, to my horror, they want to reweigh our bags at boarding! That’s not fair! I unhinge my jaw and hastily swallow my boiled egg like a snake.
I scramble to load my pockets again and then think, no – NO. I’m the Captain (kind of) and will not be harassed in this way. I am going to reclaim my strut. I march to the woman, reminding her of my priority boarding status, my exit aisle ticket: You need me, remember?
I’m moved to the side, next to the weighing queue. Then I’m ushered onto the plane…with my loaded case of snacks. My Strut is back baby.
Of course, I uphold my part of the deal and memorise the safety card, so I am fully prepared for any emergencies. I proceed to quiz the man sitting next to me, making sure he is taking this assignment as seriously as me. He is not. He just wanted leg room.
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