So to speak: Travelling stress

Opinion Thursday 10/March/2016 13:38 PM
By: Times News Service
So to speak: Travelling stress

You would think that in this modern era of jet engine technology, travelling would be full of fun. It is not and it is increasingly becoming stressful and tiresome. I ignored my wife’s long list of things she wanted me to bring home and I chose to carry a small suitcase instead.
I wanted to travel light so I would not be lumbered by super heavy cases as I go through airports, train stations and taxi stands. Half an hour before I left my hotel, she called and I lied unashamedly that I had packed everything she wanted.
It was important that I avoided marital confrontations very early in my journey. There was a slight twinge of guilt as I put down the phone but the sentiment quickly evaporated as I headed for the airport. I said thank you to the porter and walked right past the row of trolleys as I wheeled my super light suitcase to the terminal.
I had the advantage many of my fellow passengers did not. They laboured with tons of luggage and I could almost hear their creaking bones complaining under the strain. Then it started to happen as I was congratulating myself for being a smart traveller.
There was a long queue at the security check since one of the machines was out of order. Patience, I told myself, it would soon be my turn. My turn did come but after ten minutes had lapsed.
I hurried to the check-in counter but another queue waited for me. Oh well, I said under my breath, it would soon be over.
The problem was that most of the flyers had at least three huge baggage each.
The worse thing was that many of them did not want to pay for the excess luggage.
It contributed to the delay and I wished that everybody had the same wisdom as I had by travelling lightly. The young lady with a smart uniform smiled when I handed over my ticket.
“Just one piece of luggage?” I must have been the only amicable passenger of the night for her. It took her less than five minutes to serve me.
I thanked her and walked towards the passport check and then to the waiting lounge. I looked at my watch and sighed with relief that it would only be a quarter of an hour before we start boarding. I was wrong.
They announced that the flight would be delayed for an hour due to “technical problems”. It is not easy to stay calm when you look forward to join your family at the earliest.
I wandered in the duty free to kill time and then visited the coffee shop. The call of nature beckoned and I obliged.
After I had relieved myself, I checked the flight display to find out it was time to board.
The plane was full and everyone seemed to have a hand luggage. Since my seat was right at the back, I had to wait for everybody to store away their baggage overhead.
We finally took off ninety minutes late. I slept through every meal and drink. The smell of fresh coffee and omelette woke me up when they were serving breakfast.
Time went pass quickly but it would slow down once again when the pilot said the airport below was busy. We circled above for twenty minutes before the air traffic control allowed us to land.
I had to wait for twenty minutes to get my suitcase and the train was late for half an hour.
When I finally reached home, I completely forgot to work out a good lie about not having to bring my wife the things she wanted. I realised to travel lightly did not have any advantage and it put me in the bad books of the wife.