Last November, Eddie Murphy sat right next to me on a plane from Beirut to Dubai…
Only it wasn’t Eddie Murphy, but it was definitely his character from ‘Coming to America’
and with that, I present to you Monday’s awkward story time!
Let’s back-track a tad bit, shall we? Last November, I went to Lebanon to visit my family for about 10 days. That was awesome and stressful because its the Middle East and everyone is pissed off and oppressed… ahem, Moving right along. I left Beirut and went to Dubai for one day as a mini layover-trip, and although the flight is a mere 3 1/2 hours, I will never forget it in my entire life.
I happened to be one of the first people on the plane, and quickly took my seat near the front. About ten minutes later, the plane is about full and I see these two big African men standing in the middle of the aisles, conversing in a language that definitely wasn’t Arabic… How do I know they were African? They were black and wearing traditional African dresses with matching hats (but I thought it rude to ask). As the flight attendant asked both men to take their seats, one man starts screaming “ticket….ticket!!!!” in a really deep and distraught voice coated with a heavy accent… Awesome.
Now I’m not a rocket scientists, but something tells me one of the guys lost his ticket; maybe he thought the boarding-pass fairy waiting under your seat cushion would jump out and stab you if you dared to sit down without it. The flight-attendants reassured him that he probably miss-placed it and it wouldn’t be a problem, then asked him one last time to take his seat. Do you know where he sat? I’ll give you three guesses…
Oh yes, all 4 of my blog readers. He sat right next to me. I’m in the window, he was in the middle, and one man was on the aisle (but he moved his seat shortly after). Let me tell you, this was far different from your typical unruly passenger. This was, without a doubt, the man’s first time on a plane and with civilized human beings….EVER.
Immediately after take-off, he starts picking his pimples, and I knew this because he was 7 feet tall with hands the size of frying pans, so as you can imagine, it was hard to miss. Of course, the food comes shortly after his mini-facial, and although I am not THAT hungry, it’s hard to pass up the Lebanese Airline’s food. I had labne, with pita bread, fresh pitted olives, sliced oranges, and eggs with hot tea, orange juice, and water. All free, All delicious, take THAT Alitalia.
But that’s neither here nor there. I unwrapped my plastic silverware, and began eating. I look over and my friend here is staring at the food as if the flight attendant dropped off a Rubix Cube for his meal. But don’t worry, his survival instincts quickly kicked in as he grabbed the plastic wrap with his teeth, ripping it open, and SPITTING it out of his mouth into whichever direction the weightless material desired. I ignored it, and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Then I hear a noise as if somethings hitting the tray. I turn and see my friend spitting the pits of the olive seeds from his seat to the food-tray, using the seat in front of him as a backboard. This is a joke, right? Orange seeds? Spit those right out. At one point, I was just watching him spitting all of these things out of his mouth, I was dumbfounded.
But here’s my personal favorite part. I grab the water container the airline has provided, and peel back the thin layer of aluminum covering the top, similar to individual yogurt covers. my friend grabs a fork, sizes up the water container, and stabs the top until he was sure it couldn’t attack him. He then proceeds to squeeze the plastic cup with victory before smashing it in his hands and throwing it on the tray.
After a nice long burp, he decided he was done and passed his tray to the flight attendant. He looked at me as if he were offering assistance in disposing my tray. I accepted this peace treaty, and passed him my leftovers, which he passed right along, but only after grabbing my unfinished pita bread and OJ, slurping the entire juice box in one sip! I couldn’t make this up.
After that, I took out my phone and typed all of these incidents down in my notepad. From the beginning of the flight I hated this man, and by the end I knew I would be repeating this story for a looong time.
To the unruly African man on my plane,
…Oh, and while I’m on the topic, Dubai was fun. Flashy lights, lots of tourists, and a whole lot of money.