The World’s Longest Flights

Want to revel in your own little corner of airline hell?  Why not take one of the world’s longest flights, and really get seriously into a case of airline cabin fever?

There are a number of direct airline flights that clock in at more than 16 hours.  Los Angeles to Dubai, Atlanta to Johannesburg, New York to Hong Kong — all of them will cost you an arm and a leg and take about as long as the waking hours in an average day.

IMG_1023Many of the flights shown in the linked article have fancy seats, special tables, and extended entertainment options to make those 16 hours fly by.  (Pun intended).  But let’s face it:  16 hours on a plane is 16 hours in the company of total strangers, 16 hours in which you could be annoyed by the shrill laugh of the woman sitting behind you or the unpleasant odor of the guy one seat over, and 16 hours that you would rather have spent almost anywhere else.  The unpleasant, unavoidable reality is that you’re trapped in a metal tube, bored out of your mind, and you can’t get out.

And let’s not kid ourselves, either — your seats might be comfortable on these marathon flights, but what do the bathrooms look like after, say, 10 hours?  When we flew on an eight-hour trip from JFK to Rome some years ago, by the final hours of the flight the bathroom looked and smelled like a disgusting war zone, with wastebasket overflowing and indeterminate liquids everywhere.  I can’t imagine the toxic condition of a bathroom at the end of a 16-hour flight, and I’m not sure I ever want to personally find out.  I might be tempted to break that 16 hours up, for sanity’s sake.

Friday Night On The Patio

Last night Kish made a wonderful dinner and then she, the Carroll County Cousin, and I moved onto our patio for the evening.

IMG_3347We sat in perfect temperatures, sipping glasses of wine and chatting as dusk fell and the last glimmer of sunlight faded from the treetops.  At full darkness, the summer insects performed their nighttime symphony, and the pleasant background buzz of chirps and chitters rose from surrounding bushes and shrubs and grass up to the stars above.

A football game was being played at New Albany High School.  For the most part the announcer’s voice was muddled and just one more part of the background noise, but from time to time his words could be heard with sharp clarity.  At one point during the halftime show we heard a his excited announcement of “Sweet Home Alabama” and the first few notes of the band’s no doubt rockin’ arrangement of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic.

It was a classic middle American moment, hearkening back to an era when electronic devices did not rule our lives and people spent their evenings in the warm late-summer air, enjoying the simple pleasures of a good night-time talk.  We sat there for hours.