ARTICLE: MEHMET ALI BIRAND, Journalist
Plane Travel is My Fantasy
I’ve been a journalist for 41 years. I’ve spent a large part of my life traveling. Sometimes on business, sometimes with my wife Cemre on holiday, I’ve probably covered enough miles to circumvent the globe several times. Airplanes have in a sense become part of my life.
There is nothing I enjoy so much as boarding a plane and going somewhere. This pleasure begins the minute I set out for the airport. From the moment I get into the taxi, my world is transformed. Entering the airport and wandering through the shops, even if they’re all alike and the goods they sell cost more than you’d pay on the market, makes me happy. I start to see the first signs that I am being liberated from the routine of everyday life.
And then I board that magical plane, which even seems to smell different. The best part is when the doors close. For the closing of the doors is a sign that I am going to be spared all bad things. From that moment on I feel I’ve entered a world where nobody can reach me, where nobody can do me any harm.
But the excitement I feel when the plane taxis to the runway, begins to pick up speed and is finally airborne is something else entirely. And the thrill one experiences especially if the plane breaks through the clouds and, leaving behind rain or snow, emerges into clear, sunny skies is like nothing else in the world.
Perhaps it’s not real, perhaps it’s only a virtual world, but even if it lasts only a few hours I love this new world of mine. There is neither a telephone that can bring me bad news, nor a door that can open letting in people who will start some unwanted argument. I entrust myself to the arms of an another world, a world consisting of smiling hostesses whose only purpose is to please you, or of other passengers that you don’t know at all.
And if the flight is a long one, it makes this world even more enjoyable. I read for hours, it doesn’t matter what. I listen to music. I have a preference for classical, because it’s different from the music I hear in my everyday life. I especially like opera. It expands my world as I’m sailing above the clouds.
I watch films, plan what I’m going to do the next day and prepare my talks. My most interesting ideas and stories come to me at those moments. Of course, from time to time I also drink the wine that is offered, eat the food that is served, and then after that I sometimes have a nap.
That narrow seat takes the place of my spacious office. It seems even more comfortable that the place where I work, prepare my programs, delete my unnecessary notes and, when I’m tired, stretch out for
When I wake up some part of me will surely be aching, but
I pay no attention. The minute I open my eyes, the idea of landing in a brand new country in the middle of a completely different climate and people, makes me so happy that I don’t even think about how my poor bones are throbbing.
For me there is no greater pleasure than this.
I don’t care much for return flights though, because I know I am coming back to my real world. Again the phone calls, again the disturbing news.
Long flights are my fantasy, a world I always miss even if it’s artificial.
What about you? If you like, write to me (email@example.com) and let’s share.