Over the years, I have travelled to many places by many means of transport and had many types of travelling companions, both good and bad. But none were as bad as the guy on our flight to Melbourne.
When we arrive at Heathrow and parked up, there were at least two white transits in the car park, and this really freaked him out. As we walked into the departure hall and met up with the rest of the sales team, I mentioned to our manager that J was a bit flakier than normal, and as he talked to J about my concerns J began shouting that they were still following him (a little battery powered golf cart was rumbling past with two old ladies getting a lift to their plane. The cart was white).
J had to be sedated and removed to a care facility while we jetted of to Palma in Majorca for our treat. I'm just glad he broke down before we all got on the plane.
It was an Air NZ Airbus 320, which meant the passengers were seated in two rows of three, and our tickets were for the window and middle seats of the left hand row.
As we shuffled down towards our area, I could see that there was already someone sitting on the aisle seat of our row.
He was sitting bent over, his hands folded in front of his face, his elbows resting on his knees, all hunched up, and he was muttering to himself.
I had to actually nudge the guy to get his attention so he could move to let us in. He did so readily enough, but he never made eye contact.
After we got seated, all the books and magazines stowed away, I settled down, and quickly became aware that the guy next to me (I was in the middle seat, my beloved had the window side) was emanating a curious mixture of smells. A mixture of ghee, curry, and BO. He had returned to his original hunched up position, head in hands and muttering away twenty to the dozen. I studied him out of the corner of my eye.
I tried to concentrate on my book. I had brought a Lee Child, Jack Reacher novel, "Gone Tomorrow". I had read it before, but had completely forgotten the plot, so it was a handy book to read while we were flying "The Ditch" as New Zealanders call the Tasman Sea between NZ and Aussie. I won't go into the details of the plot, but by about page 4, it describes the characteristics exhibited by suicide bombers. This list of observable behaviour patterns, was supposedly created by the Israelis to help them spot suicide bombers before they send themselves to "Paradise"
The list is:
- Inappropriate clothing (to help hide the explosives)
- Robotic walk (because of the weight of the explosives)
- Nervous behaviour
- Breathing controlled or panting
- Stare rigidly ahead, no eye contact
- Mumbled Prayers
- Large bag
- Hands in bag
- Inappropriate clothing (Yes, and very bulky, zipped up to the neck)
- Robotic walk (Not applicable as he was sitting down)
- Nervous behaviour (Yes. he was certainly making me nervous)
- Sweating (Yes. It was pouring down his face)
- Tics (Yes, now I had read it, I could see the eye closest to me was twitching)
- Irritability (Maybe, he certainly wasn't friendly, he never said a word to us as we squeezed past)
- Breathing controlled or panting (Yes, panting quietly like a little steam train)
- Stare rigidly ahead, no eye contact (Yes)
- Mumbled Prayers (Yes. Well to be honest I wasn't sure as he was mumbling quite quietly, but it didn't sound like English. I strained my ears to hear phrases like "Imsh'Allah", but I couldn't be sure)
- Large bag (Yes, in the overhead compartment. I saw it when I put my beloved's cabin baggage in there)
- Hands in bag (No. He obviously couldn't reach his bag whilst seated)
|A suicide bomber|
- He was wearing the thick jacket because he felt so very cold from his tummy bug
- He was nervous because he was ill, and because he really feared flying
- He was sweating because of his tummy bug.
- He had a tic because he was terrified of crashing
- He was panting trying to control the waves of pain emanating from his toxic intestine
- He was staring ahead, not making eye contact because he was also shy. And nervous. And ill.
- He was mumbling prayers to his God, praying he wouldn't throw up in the plane. (Didn't bloody work, did it? Another reason to be an atheist)
- Large bag? Of course he had a large bloody bag, he was going on his holidays.
|The prettiest girl in Palmerston North|
Did I tell you about the guy sitting in the bus tour to The 12 Apostles?
1. He had on a blue puffer jacket in 25°C
2. He was very nervous.......................................