Well, there was no white god or telephone (all I had was a paper bag), no reviewing of breakfast or anything technicolour (since nothing was eaten), just a sad little kid mewling and puking and moaning like a sick cat.
That must have been an agonizing experience, Lizzy.
I find it very ironic that I hate don't like to fly. Until the age of ten I lived a block off the bay and used to walk down to the water to watch jets take off and land from the nearby air base. I was so fascinated by flight that I constantly begged my parents to take me to the commercial airport so I could watch the planes. We were even allowed out on the tarmac as passengers were boarding their flights. For one special birthday, my choice for a present was to eat dinner in the airport restaurant overlooking the runway. I can still remember the excitement of it all. It felt quite glamorous!
Thank you, htmb, but I recovered, and I've flown a lot since then. Things are just a lot more comfortable 40 years on.
Living on air force bases for the first 16 years of my life gave me a healthy fear of flying, but I was hooked on international travel. When I was a poor student a friend and I would drive to YVR on a Sunday night and have a drink in the airport lounge and watch the planes take off, because it was one of the few places in the city you could have a drink on Sunday, the other being hotel lounges (if you were a guest). Yes, the bad old days of Canadian drinking laws. Those changed in 1986. Then 9/11 happened, and the glamour of travel was lost forever, it seems.
When I was 15 or 16, our great pleasure with my sister and two neighbours (one of whom was allowed to use his mother's car) was to drive to Toronto Airport (the new terminal -- which is now the old one -- had just been built) and watch the planes take off and land. Of the four of us, two are complete stay-at-homes, one lived in London for a few years, and then there's me, who likes to travel.
Post by patricklondon on Jul 24, 2013 11:21:37 GMT
Patrick, at fifteen were you also in Paris by yourself, or was that just for the flight?
Just for the flight - one of those pen-friend exchanges. Oddly enough, our mothers ended up corresponding more than we did, because my mum wanted to practise her French and was always a lot more sociable than me. They did exchange visits themselves, years later. Mme. C nearly gave my mother a heart attack by stopping to admire the view when crossing one of the major traffic routes in central London, I remember.
Thank for the clip, Kerouac. One of my favourite songs is Brel's Orly, « La vie ne fait pas de cadeau / et nom de Dieu c'est triste Orly le dimanche / Avec ou sans Bécaud ». Jacques didn't have as good a Sunday.
Just to show younger people how simple it used to be to take a plane, in 1970, I took the PSA midnight flight (PSA = Pacific Southwest Airlines) from Los Angeles to San Francisco (it also existed in the opposite direction). You just went to the airport and got on the plane with no formalities. The $10 fare was collected by the stewardesses (flight attendants did not yet exist) during the flight.
A few of the girls I knew in college had aspirations of being a stewardess for the "glamorous" lifestyle.
For awhile (late seventies/early eighties) I was fairly good friends with a flight attendant who had the Atlanta/London trip for Delta. She claimed to love her job and did a little tour planning on the side, which is how the London accommodations and travel plans for my trip 30 years ago came about.
When I was about 16, I thought being a stewardess would be a great job because of the travel opportunities. When I started finding out about it though, I quickly learned that it was more about being a waitress.
I was tempted as well and even obtained all of the information from Pan Am. Later, I even applied to Air France and was turned down after the day of testing. (Actually, I learned later that the interview part was a sham, because they already had the list of people they were supposed to hire ahead of time.)
Although I felt that the meal and drink service aspect of the job was rather grim, I have known many flight attendants in my life (and dozens more working for the same airline as I, whose paths I crossed from time to time), and I have never known a single flight attendant who did not love his/her job.
I can only imagine how difficult being a flight attendant has become over the past few years. Dealing with the huge masses of frequently unhappy travelers has got to be wearing, too. It's not a job I'd ever want, but I sure appreciate flight attendants who are efficient and have a confident and pleasant personality.
I think I would have been a lousy flight attendant, so it's lucky I never went even as far as finding out more about it.
I had a secretarial/receptionist job for a year once and was told I didn't have the right attitude. It must have been when I told a university professor to mail her own letters since we both walked past the mailboxes beside the building. ;D