At the end of another rush weekend back home, where you try to fit 345 activities in two and a half days and still get surprised you don't quite manage to do them all, thought I'd do a list of a few basics we should all know if we fly a lot.
HOW TO DISTINGUISH A PORTUGUESE FROM AN ENGLISH PERSON IN A LISBON-LONDON FLIGHT
The Portuguese person will open the sandwich package on top, slide the sandwich up like a lipstick and eat it without getting their hands dirty; the English person will rip the package open in the middle, take it off altogether and eat their sandwich spreading crumbs across their seat and everyone else's. Then, the Portuguese person with clean hands will open the napkin package, take it off and wipe their already clean mouth and hands; the English person will most likely not even notice there is a napkin there unless they somehow need sugar for their tea - very unlikely. If they do, they'll take the sugar off and leave the napkin inside, untouched.
NORMAL FLIGHT COMPANIES' STAFF VS. LOW COST STAFF
Erm, let's just say they're two different kinds of people altogether. If you fly with TAP Portugal or BA, you're most likely to face delays; but you'll see smiles, you'll be asked how you are, you'll be given choices of food, choices of drink, your bags will all fit and they'll help you as well as the old lady behind you with nothing else but sympathy. If you fly with Easyjet or Ryanair, you'll see absolutely NO smiles - you've paid nothing more than £170 for your ticket so in essence, they're doing you a FAVOUR. You've also not paid for your suitcase so if you're lucky enough to be within the first 20 passengers entering the plane and managed to get in with your suitcase, give yourself a pat on the back and find yourself some space in those 4 available containers. You haven't paid so they're forbidden to help you put your suitcase up there, even if you're 68 years old, 5'1 and half blind - life's hard mate. You'll also have to pay for your food, which is totally fine and acceptable except they always prefer you pay in cash and never have change to give you back - well, here you go, that's for the free luggage.
AIRPORT RULES CHANGE MORE OFTEN THAN YOUR PANTS
It doesn't matter if you fly every day or once a year - the security & airport regulations change by the second. This time I got the newsflash that my duty free bag also counted as luggage. I mean, I'm already used to having to buy a magazine and some water just so I can put all my sh*t in that bag and now they tell me that also counts as luggage - I feel like the next step is asking me to strip and shove my knickers in my suitcase or I'll be charged £45 extra.
Last time it was the liquids bag - for our trip to Edinburgh, the beef, myself and Poppy had like 5 bags between ourselves cause she forgot the 100ml rule (I know, no one forgets that!) and brought the whole of MAC with her. This day, the person decided I was only allowed one bag AND it had to close. I mean, it had to freaking close. Punch in the face right there is what he deserved.
POLICEMEN IN AIRPORTS ARE LIKE 'THE TUNA' SINGING GUYS IN PORTUGUESE UNIs
It's the only place they can shout at you, make bored and angry faces and make stupid comments and questions about you, your whereabouts and your passport photo without being seen or told off. And you only just want to get to your flight quickly enough so there's no time to argue much. D*ickheads.
THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TRIP IS SOLELY DEPENDENT ON THE MOOD OF THE AIRPORT STAFF
If they're having a bad day, you can forget about having a pleasant trip - it's as simple as that. From the check in stage, bag drop, security, boarding gate, boarding the plane, exiting the plane and until you're leaving the airport, if they're not in the mood they will find a way to make your life mi-se-ra-ble. It's probably on their job spec.
Agora um retoque final em bom Português. Eu não sou de grandes lamechices ou sentimantalismos mas quando se passa muito tempo em voos, a primeira coisa que se faz quando finalmente se relaxa na cadeira depois da azáfama do aeroporto, correrias e check ins é um balanço mental da viagem. Às vezes há coisas que correm menos bem, programas que não se conseguem cumprir ou pessoas que não se conseguem ver. Desta vez também houve algumas destas, mas venho assim... olhem, de coração cheio. Por ter uma família que faz tudo por mim, que se desdobra em programas para podermos ir a todas as capelinhas e me continua a fazer esperas no aeroporto como se fosse a primeira vez; por ter uma irmã que é tudo neste mundo, louca como só ela e com dias que duram 37h, sempre a 3 mil à hora com dois bombons que são igualmente tudo neste mundo, mesmo com os decibéis encravados no volume 44 de manhã à noite; por ter uma mãe que me faz sopinha, refeições preferidas, tartes, sobremesas (!!!) e tem um stock de croissants à minha espera todas as manhãs; por ter uma melhor amiga que percebe que isto requer muito tempo e atenção e que mesmo assim tem sempre programas à espera da minha chegada, mesmo que eu acabe por morrer de sono no sofá a um sábado à noite; e por ter um bife à minha espera de volta em casa, provavelmente de ressaca e em modo 'até gosto de ti, toma lá um abraço'.