Inner Monologue Of Someone On A Flight From Vancouver To New York


This December, I went to see family in Seattle, and home to Vancouver, before the christmas rush. That put my return to New York smack-dab in the middle of the annual Christmas airport shenanigans. I already believe that airplanes are a torture device sent by the devil himself to ruin my mental health. As it turns out, cross-country American flights are a new level of misery and despair.

  • I have boarded the plane. I barely made it, because I do not understand how student visas work. What is a SEVIS number? I have to bring my paperwork even when it has only been five days? Do I have an F-1 or a J-1 visa. I might be an idiot. I do not understand immigration. I always just assume that it doesn’t apply, because I am Canadian. And then the TSA rightfully yells at me, for having no understanding of how countries work. My undergraduate degree is in political science.
  • It now costs 7.99 to watch television. That’s a human rights violation, right? In the most white-privilege sense of “human rights violation,” of course.
  • One day I will have to pay to breathe the air on the plane. On the other hand, maybe they will let me pay to smoke too. Or have smoking sections on airplanes, like restaurants did in the 90s. It would be bad for the health and safety of society, but it would massively improve my experience. And that’s the most important thing, right? #narcissism?
  • You would think, considering that you have to pay for every little thing on an airplane nowadays, that I could pay to skip the safety instructions. United Airlines has somehow managed to extend theirs to 10 minutes, with four more mandatory advertisements stacked onto the end. If the plane crashes, we’re probably going to die, right? I think I, for one, accept my fate.
  • At least in the US, airlines don’t repeat everything again in French. It takes even longer for announcements, because no one speaks very good French outside of Quebec. Also, almost no one speaks French on flights between Vancouver and Toronto. It would be a much better use of everyone’s time if they did it in Mandarin. Or probably any other language besides French. Or if they just skipped the whole thing entirely, and let us go down with the ship.
  • I have now paid over $14 to watch eight episodes of Parks And Recreation twice. I have seen every episode of Parks And Recreation several times. I think they purposefully only put television shows I have already watched obsessively on airplanes. It is a form of torture directed solely at me.
  • Did they lose my baggage? I definitely think they lost my luggage I paid $30 to check. I have one suitcase.
  • The old woman sitting in the aisle seat of my row has ordered a vodka-orange juice – thus putting her tray down – and then shut her eyes to sleep. The possibly-teenaged girl in between us has been sprawled as far as she can under her seat since the flight began. I have to pee. I am trapped. This is my Vietnam.
  • The girl next to me opened her eyes! My moment of reckoning is here. I try and get the old woman’s attention by waving and muttering “Excuse me.” When that fails, I push down my social anxiety and poke her arm. She opens her eyes, and very angrily shuffles into the aisle. Success! I am victorious!
  • Stumped again. There is a five person line for the two tiny, disgusting coach bathrooms. I hate the world.
  • The flight attendants just sprayed a massive amount of air freshener right by my face and then closed the curtain very fast. Now they are gossiping loudly amongst themselves – I can’t make out the words, but am very concerned by the tone. Now I have to pee, am extremely confused, and nauseous.
  • WHY IS THERE NO FOOD. WHERE IS THE FOOD? This is my second flight today, and I am starving. At least JetBlue has free chips! I can’t even figure out how to buy things from United. Even if I could, they have almost no vegetarian options on their menu, and nothing sounds appealing. Diet Coke can only sustain me for so long.
  • There are always too many children on planes. There is one behind me, kicking my back. At least this is better than the time I was trapped beside two children whose parents were in the next row. They were far too loud for a 5 AM flight. I was also far too hungover for 5 AM.
  • I think we’re descending! The anticipation is killing me. My skin is burning from the recycled air. Everything smells like old food and garbage. There’s an elbow in my side and a foot in my back. I am barely holding on, emotionally and physically.
  • People who bring rolling suitcases as their carry-on should wait until those of us who just have backpacks to get off the plane. They are a scrooge on society and make getting off the plane a thousand times harder. The same goes for children.
  • I have survived! I am free! I have made it off the plane, into LaGuardia! It is 10 PM. I left Vancouver at 11 AM. My Hanukkah wish is that someone invents apparition before the next time I have to travel, and that the new technology does not tank the world economy when it makes most forms of transportation obsolete.