Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Back in the USA.
And therefore landed in another culture and tradition.
Where people interact so differently compared to the ones in Europe and elsewhere.

But because life is not lived from one standard pack of attitudes, but instead enjoyed by being flexible adapting to wherever destiny brings, it is great to have returned to America.

Especially to see the friends again and to be whirling in a halo of warmth and affection.

Unfortunately for the blog and its fervent and loyal readers, nothing remarkable can be reported about the journey from Europe to the USA.
No juicy and entertaining stories about failing hotels or crashing airplanes.
KLM, the airline from the Netherlands, although associated with Air France, Delta and Northwest, has their relatively new Jumbo’s and very well trained crew.
Most friendly and excellent service.

It was of course not the fault of KLM that close by in the airplane a couple and a single mother where traveling having decided to take their siblings with them.
These children didn’t like flying and for unknown reasons had decided to inform as many fellow passengers about this unfortunate point of view.
The way they expressed themselves was not by sending a letter of complain to their mother but by, and this most loyal and fervent blog readers may have guessed, loudly testing their vocal cords.
Their folds of membranous tissue that projected inward from their sides of the larynx to form a slit across their glottis in their throat, and whose edges vibrate in the airstream to produce their loud crying voice..
One child, already able to escape from the mother’s supervision to crawl in the aisle blocking the way of the stewardess balancing in her hands a tray with plastic cups filled with orange juice and pestering other passengers urgently on the way to the bathroom, was particularly opposed to being strapped in during take off, landing and in times of turbulence.
Every time the parents tried to put the safety belt around the boy’s body, a wrestling competition took place with the boy maniacally and desperately and hysterically screaming, protesting, resisting and fighting.
“I don’t WANT the safety belt around me ! I don’t WANT !!”
Obviously the boy, until then in his life, had a training learning him that what he wants is respected.
Others would call this that he is spoiled to death and would say, give the boy a whack with a baseball bat on his bare bottom, apply the safety belt and then ask him: “What else?”
Because in the end, you are not sitting only by yourself in an airplane to Los Angeles.
There are more than 300 fellow travelers close by who may not be too interested in what this young son exactly wants and not wants.

As life likes to joke, the two passengers, who were from Holland, sitting next to the pioneering photographer, were married for 25 years and to celebrate this, on their way to Hawaii.
Hand in hand full of late date romance but very much disturbed by the concert the children had decided to perform on this journey.
The fact happened to be, and this was most painful, that this happy and long lasting couple had never been able to have children.
They explained this was a twist of nature: they very much had liked to have siblings but it was not to be.
And now their long awaited happy trip was sabotaged by these small size bastards.

The man said that parents that travel in airplanes with children must give them tranquilizers.
To knock them out and have them travel like zombies.
The woman said that children should only travel in airplanes if the parents had very good and convincing reasons.
Not for a holiday, she said.
It must be more serious than that.
And, she said, not so much for the other passengers.
Mainly for the parents who feel ashamed and frustrated.
But most of all for the children who have a most traumatic experience.

The pioneering photographer had of course something to say as well.
It was noticed that all the mothers and fathers of the traveling children had forgotten something most important.
To bring toys, paper and pencils, beloved dolls, mini cars, etc
Items from the world of the child, preferably the kid attached to them, that comes from the safe home it normally lives in.
Items that can challenge and entertain the child.
So that it has something to do on the long flight.
And feels not so afraid.

When leaving the plane, the child that had been crying for over ten hours non stop was quiet and calm.
And looked in the eyes of the debarking passengers.
Who probably were full of hate.
And understanding.


1 comment:

RonMack said...

Welcome back to the U.S.A., Mike

Sorry you had to listen to the yelling of a kid. Reminds me of a story where a doctor was witnessing the same situation, therefore requested the parent if he could whisper in the child's ear a word of counseling. When approved by the parent, he performed the whispering counsel session and the child quited immediately. The parent was astonished and asked the doctor, "What did you say to get such a great reaction from my child?" (The doctor replied, I told him, "If you do not shut up, I will break every bone in your body". !!!!!!