On the Road to Africa

“Free seating, free seating! Sit anywhere you want!” He had to be talking to me, as it was I who had posed him the question about whether or not he was in the right seat. By the way he pitched his head though, and his voice too, he seemed to be addressing all of the boarding passengers. Perhaps he was already inebriated, getting a head start on buffering himself from the paranoia of being up in the air for the duration of the flight, scheduled to take off in less than half-an-hour. A head start on the liquoring up was necessary, just in case the plane was not adequately equipped – rather, stocked – with the precious fear-of-flying antidote. Flying was meant for birds, and not for man, locked down in great big iron contraptions, hurtling through the skies at forty thousand feet. I have been on countless flights where passengers, scared of flying, either took sleeping pills before take-off, or started numbing themselves with alcohol in the airport bars before boarding.

Read More