My son has developed some very un-British characteristics. He no longer automatically says please and thank-you. Americans rarely say please. I feel at my most British when I enthusiastically say ‘Oh, yes please!’ to something. Americans are more likely to say ‘thank you’. They wait expectantly for the ‘You’re welcome’ response. I can’t bring myself to do it!
Today at the bus stop, waiting for the yellow bus, the kids were all jostling. Their aim is to get on the bus first. My son had forgotten to hand a toy over to me when the bus came. Every day he insists on taking something with him. This is fine but some mornings I walk when the bus has gone. I find myself walking around the lake with Buzz Light-year. All the more embarrassing when I accidentally press his button and he says ‘take cover I’ll protect you with my Laser’ to a passer by. I feel I ought to press it more often to see if I can get a reaction. I have visions of a jogger jumping into the lake on hearing ‘inter-galactic emergency, there is a rogue meteor heading for Planet Delta’.
Today he lost his prime position after handing me his toy. He didn’t care. He did the most terrible thing. He just pushed in. He has turned into…. a European! I have to credit the Americans for mostly queuing nicely with their British counterparts.
I have been wondering about him wanting to get on the bus first. Makes no sense given he has an allocated seat. I have come to the conclusion he has caught something of the American instinct vital for flying. He is in training to get on the plane first so he can claim his overhead luggage space. I believe most American airlines charge to check baggage in so most Americans take the biggest carry-on bags permitted. They struggle to wedge them into the overhead lockers before wedging themselves into the seat below.
I take 3 small bags, mine, a bag of toys for the children and the laptop and my son’s Trunkie. Trunkies are great. I don’t know why Dragon’s Den rejected them. Little suitcases little kids can rid on. I’m just waiting for the motorised adult version to come out!
I had never experienced ‘overhead baggage locker rage’ until I flew to
. On every flight I have taken to and from the America since moving here I have been subjected to someone’s attack. The problem arises because travelling with two children alone I don’t care where I put our bags as long as I can get them back again and get off the plane as quickly as possible. The immigration queue at Raleigh-Durham airport is hideously slow. They only have one international flight a day so they take their time. Illegals and smugglers be warned – they have nothing better to do than cross examine you. I like to get on a plane last and get off first! I have an allocated seat – I don’t feel the need to spring into action the second they call the flight. UK
Having had the audacity to put my bags in the space above someone else’s head I have been verbally attacked because it is THEIR space. Maybe I should be magnanimous about this but I can’t. I antagonise the situation either by ignoring them or giving them a look that says ‘tell someone who gives a f**K’. This may sound like I am not a nice person, but you have to fully appreciate the madness of my son to realise that facing an 8 hour flight with him, where I put my bags is the least of my worries. They actually expect you to move the bags and usually point to a space in the lockers the other side of the middle row of 3 seats I am in. I’m not sure what they expect me to do, vault over the 3 seats and my children wielding 3 bags?
The people who do this are never with children. One woman told me she was only trying to help. ‘Really? And here was me thinking you were trying to stick an American flag into territory that isn’t yours to claim! I should have told her if she wanted to help she should have my son sat next to her! Another man was truly vile and asked me to move my bags from his locker. I said I didn’t think it mattered. He told me I was mistaken and that It did matter’. I tried really hard to be polite. I actually apologised for my initial rude reaction and moved the bags. The look he gave me was so smug I wanted to punch him and I am never violent! So the ‘overhead baggage locker rage’ usually emanates from me. Rage that people can be so petty and mean! I have to say though I always get the last laugh. The smug fat bloke sat in his seat with his smug little grin and put his eye mask on and prepared to snooze for the flight ahead. My son rolled up his sleeves, ready for action. Eventually after half an hour of his seat being moved by little feet and fingers opening and closing the tray, he turned and said ‘I was hoping to get some sleep on this flight’. I said very sweetly ‘then you are sadly mistaken!’