Flying is ridiculous.
Monday, August 18, 2008 11:35:47 PM
If I take a bus from Sweden to Germany, this entails turning for the bus in time with any baggage I may wish to bring, boarding the bus, presenting a ticket and, at some later point, exiting the bus. When crossing borders, I may be asked to present my passport. That's about it.
However, place some wings on the bus to make the same journey and the whole process becomes a little more fraught. First I must check in, some considerable time before the flight. Once upon a time this may have been to confirm my physical presence, but as one can now check in online, I take it that this is no longer the case. One must declare that one has packed ones own bags and is therefore responsible for any contraband found there-in. One's bags are weighed, measured and tagged. One presents ones ticket and proof that one is, in fact, one. The one proceeds to customs where one gets to do this all over again, and prove that one is not bearing metal, liquids or firearms. Then one must once again prove than one is in fact one, and present, for the third time, proof than one is going where one is going.
Then one gets to wait. For a long time. During this time one is permitted to buy liquids and other things that are not counted against the strict weight limit, even though these items will, in fact, accompany one on the flight.
Then, once again, one must prove than one is who one claims to be and is, in fact, traveling where one claims to be traveling. But we are making progress. We board the plane. We get to what we actually came here to do; we travel. This may feel like more waiting, but is in fact, progress.
We are treated to a lecture on the safety features and measures in place on the plane. This is performed live, by several adults. This is always the same. This is not optional. It is made sure that one is, in fact, fastened to one's seat and that one's tray is locked in the upright position. But still. Progress.
The plane lands. After exiting, one has the option of waiting for one's checked in baggage to appear on a carrousel before, once again, proving that one is whom one claims one is and that one has, in fact, travelled this day.
The net effect is the same; travel is effected of person and baggage across borders. However, one of these processes strikes me as somewhat ridiculous when compare with the other. Perhaps it's the bus trip. Perhaps the bus trip is a poor representation of the complexity which our civilization has reached and ought to be phased out.
Or perhaps it our civilization that ought to be phased out.
Noooo, I don't really believe that. Only when I'm at airports.