Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

JFK to Bombay: Note 2

JFK to Bombay. Note 2: Safety Got the seat by the emergency exit. The neighboring seat was a pretty girl, who chose the seat behind, next to a good (ok, better) looking Indian boy, and sent the balding, middle-aged IT engineer up next to me. All this before I even got to my seat. The airhostess (there's some other term nowdays- Aircraft Supervisory Crew or some other such American euphemism which I've now forgotten) came up and explained what me and the IT engineer should do in the case of an emergency. She ended with "any questions?" And that's where I realized; we Indians MUST ask questions, even if none are needed. So IT engineer dutifully raised his hand and asked if.. no, I've quite forgotten. It was some clever, technical point like whether or not we, the Guardians of the Emergency Gate should put on our life jackets before or after the other passengers. We're really big on safety. But we take refreshments seriously as well. So, during the safety demo, one of the airhostesses was busy serving orange juice instead. This annoyed somebody in a white shirt and a tie, who engaged in a particularly interesting shouting match in the galleys. The airhostess was clearly adamant in her right to serve juice when she pleased, so the white-shirt+tie-man stormed off, swearing he would never speak to that particular airhostess again. We care for the safety of children. But, we don't believe in reining them in. So during most of the flight, random children appear and disappear like elves on the lam from the North Pole peak gift-wrapping season; unaccompanied by Mr. Claus or any other adult being. Some kids are lying on the ground, wrapped up in blankets. During takeoff. I'm watching an old Bollywood film on the excellent onboard entertainment system (seriously, the BEST onboard entertainment system! Individual screens and a fantastic selection of films, videos, TV shows, both English and Hindi, and games and what not) and there's this scene where the hero is driving in an open jeep with his 7-year-old daughter sitting on the back of the seat next to him, bouncing along on the bumpy roads. The captain spoke to us. For an interminably long time. He told us how high, how fast, how far we would be flying. They all do that, and I don't know why. I did see someone nodding when our altitude was announced, so clearly some people need that kind of info. The captain then told us about the entertainment system. How we had a great collection of Bollywood songs and music videos. Then he invited the passengers to dance to the provided music, but to take care that they did not block the aisles. Clearly there was a dance floor somewhere that I'd missed. They probably don't have seatbelts.

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