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July 13, 2007

How to travel Part 1: This is a non-stupidity flight

Stupid people should be treated like smokers.

"Live and let live" is an excellent rule when interpreted correctly. It does not mean "Everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want," but "Everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as the only people they harm are themselves." Unfortunately, as long as you interact with other living things at all, this second part of the rule limits you quite a lot. Norwegian smokers have noticed this in the past two years, since stricter regulations were imposed July 2005. It is now legal to buy boxes of cigarettes with THIS THING YOU JUST BOUGHT WILL BE YOUR DEATH!!! written on them, but you can't smoke them anywhere indoors. And since Norway has about six months of white winter and four months of green winter, this makes being a smoker in Norway a cold, wet and lonely existence. (Or so I hope. I am not a smoker.) And this is ok, because by now everyone knows that smoking is unhealthy and addictive and every smoker knew this when they started. It is a stupid choice, and if you insist on making it, then you should accept being left outside in the cold. Literally.

When I fly, I wish other stupid choices were treated the same way as the choice to start smoking. By now, shouldn't we assume that most people in the Western world know how to behave when they travel? As Eddie Izzard says: if you need to watch the part of the security information when they tell you how to put on your seatbelt, how did you manage to buy a plane ticket? And with all the publicity about the new limit on fluids in carry-on luggage, shouldn't people have gotten the message by now? I don't really see how putting my eye cream in a plastic bag makes the world a safer place, but I just do it. I don't wait for security personel at the airport to remind me and then hold up the line while arguing with them about my economy-size shampoo bottle I just have to bring with me everywhere. I've seen people standing next to a "Remove your laptop and place it in a tray" sign discussing (in the same language as the sign was written in) whether or not they should keep their laptops in their bags. I always manage to stand directly behind someone in the check-in line who didn't realize that not only do you have to bring your passport and your ticket with you when you travel, you also shouldn't bring twice as much luggage as you are allowed to, unless you are prepared to pay for it. And most of all: if you don't show up for the flight, that should be your own problem. At Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, they say over the intercom: "Mr. ________, you are delaying the flight." which I think is just rude enough.

Part 2 

Posted by Julie at July 13, 2007 4:51 PM

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I love you :)

Posted by: anna at July 15, 2007 12:47 AM

Rude by mr.________ or rude by Schipol? Definitliy ignorant and or rude and or truly unecessary by mr. _______ Practical, efficient and necessary by Schipol.

Posted by: Per Ivar at July 15, 2007 5:00 PM

stupid people are nothing to get agitated over, you'll live longer.

as for smoking, i would rather challenge your notion of it being a lonely existence....

enjoy your stay in States!

Posted by: michael at July 15, 2007 6:50 PM

Per Ivar - I applaud Schiphol's icy hint at Mr. ___________'s stupidity. Definitely one of my favorite airports (and I kind of missed KLM when I was flying with Lufthansa).
Michael - Yeah, I know it's not lonely. Which is why I often join smokers outside. Or maybe I'm just addicted to second-hand smoke.

Posted by: Julie at July 15, 2007 6:56 PM

and for war preventing reasons;
french tourists should keep their children from continously hitting other people's behinds, espescially after 6 hours of turbulence, crap food and a broken seat which cannot be changed!

Posted by: Heidi at July 16, 2007 12:15 AM