I once heard a theory that the reason why people get irritated when travelling is that man was not created to sit still in a confined space. You know, roaming around the jungle and climbing up trees. And that kind of thing.
Is it true? Maybe yes, maybe no. But there must be a very basic fundamental why travel can bring out the worst in us. And whatever that may be the fact is that we have all been that irritable traveller on occasions.
Be honest. How many times have you spread out your bags on the seat next to you on the train or bus, praying that nobody will plonk themselves down beside you? We’ve all done it.
What about the coveted armrest in steerage on the plane? No, you’ve never slithered your elbow on to it first in the hope that you can rule supreme? Yes, you have.
Here are a few from a recent poll that show how we behave when we are in caged animal mode:
Ignore Your Neighbour
16% of us ignore our neighbour on a flight. Oh yes, definitely. What if it’s a mouthey person that doesn’t shut up for the whole flight?
Skip the Boarding Queue
Would you skip the queue to board earlier than you should? Quite a few do (I can’t remember the stat). But what’s the point? Your seat is allocated (mostly). But on the other hand you may be able to commandeer more overhead bin space if you’re the bustling early bird.
Recline Your Seat
55% really go ballistic when the guy in front suddenly reclines his seat right into your lap without asking. Asking? Who the hell is ever going to ask you that?
Surly Cabin Crew
Surely they’re allowed to have an off-day too, don’t you think?
The Feral Child
The most accomplished irritant. And statistically you’re likely to encounter them on any flight. I don’t blame the child. I blame the brainless mums that didn’t teach their little Jonnies behavioural boundaries, that have immuned themselves to the screeching and that don’t appear to give a toss about the inconvenience caused to you.
What do you think?
First posted May 2014, written by Bibi Baskin.