Planes, Trains And Automobiles (Part 2)

March 9, 2007 at 8:59 am 14 comments


Belgium is the Ireland of the Netherlands and France. That is to say that people in those countries make Belgian jokes in the same way as un-pc Brits (and I mean the “British” in the correct sense; i.e. non-Irish members of the United Kingdom) do about the Irish.

Well, I do not know if there is too much that can be read into this fact but my experience of travelling to and from Belgium has been “interesting”. Let me quote the examples of two different flights between the Netherlands and Brussels. Bear in mind that this is only a half-an-hour flight.

The first example was on a full flight from Brussels to the Netherlands. Everything had gone to plan. The plane was on time. The passengers had boarded. The multi-lingual safety announcement had been given in French, in Dutch and in English (must really pi*s you off if you are a native Spanish or Mandarin speaker!). And so, we began to taxi to the runway as normal.

Just as we began to pick up speed the guy sat in the aisle two rows in front of me must have suddenly realised (‘scuse the split infinitive) that he had left his book or other reading material in his bag in the overhead locker above him. It must have been a compelling read for this gentleman decided to unbuckle his seat belt and stand up to retrieve his book.

As he stood the stewardess (or is that “cabin person”? I get very confused in these PC days. I know that they are no longer “Trolley Dollies” or “Air Hostesses” but exactly what we are supposed/allowed to call them I do not know) at the front of the plane picked up the microphone and stated politely “Sir. Please take your seat as we are about to take off.”

The man acknowledged he had heard her by raising his hand but he continued to rummage in his luggage. “Sir. Please sit down as we are about to take off.” The plane accelerated. The man rummaged. “Sit down now!” The plane accelerated. The man rummaged. The plane lifted off. The plane tilted at a 45-degree angle. The man gently and, as if in slow motion, fell backwards and, as if in a cartoon, rolled the full length of the aisle until he hit the back of the plane. There was a dull thud. He stayed at the back of the plane until it levelled off and the cabin crew (“stewards” and “stewardesses”?) were able to come to his aid.

Thankfully he was OK and with nothing more than his ego bruised and paperback ruffled he retook his seat and began to read his book. There was, however, an almost audible and synchronised collective thought amongst all of the Dutch passengers: “Belgians!”

My second Belgian flight story was a little more colourful. Again I was travelling from Brussels to Amsterdam. (NB. I have since discovered the simple pleasure of the international train between these two great capital cities. Thankfully).

As ever, I was one of the first to board the plane. These days luggage space on board planes is rather tight and if you leave it too late to board then you run the risk of not having a space for your PC bag and the other piece of luggage which contains your toothbrush, razor (even beardies have to shave!), duty free (not any more unfortunately – you can stick your European Union if abolition of duty free is seen to be progress!) and your dirty smalls. If you can’t squeeze it under the seat in front of you, you run the risk that some surly member of the cabin crew will snatch it from your grasp in return for the mandatory docket and banish said baggage to the hold, with the prospect of a further loss of 45 minutes of your life as you stand next to a whining, beeping, revolving luggage carousel waiting to be reunited with said bags.

Unusually I was sat in a window seat. I usually prefer to sit in an aisle. Aisle seats have a number of advantages over other seats: 1) You are able to recover your luggage (if it has not been snatched and banished) more easily and vacate the plane more rapidly upon arrival, 2) in the event of an emergency you trample fewer fellow passengers in your blind panic of a rush to the emergency exits, 3) you can stretch your legs occasionally between trolleys and so avoid the risk of deep vein thrombosis, and 4) in the event of a pretty one, you can ogle the stewardess.

I think that most travelling men will have to admit that there is still something very sexy about a girl in uniform. This sexiness is multiplied several times by the added coincidence of 1) makeup, 2) the fact that this is an old-fashioned girl that still serves her man, and 3) rumours of stockings and suspenders, the Mile High Club and good time parties back at the crew’s stopover hotel! There is not a red-blooded male that has not travelled by air and, when blessed with a pretty one (which is increasingly rare, especially on BA domestic flights. This is because the profession is being taken over by Julian Clary wannabes) and not hoped that the stewardess would actually simulate blowing into the top up pipe of the life jacket during the safety demonstration. There is something very stimulating about pursed rouged lips around a pipe……

Similarly, we all know that it is a bloke that chooses the uniforms for all of the airlines. Blouses rather too tight and gaping around the nipple area. Skirts rather too short and rather too tight around the bum. High heels. Stockings. In any case, the aisle is the best seat from which to watch the stewardess cross and uncross her legs during take-off and landing when she is sat at the jump seat at the front!stockings

And so, I was a little pissed off to find myself in the window seat and soon found myself looking out of the window. Well, what else is there to do? I noticed that the plane seemed to be surrounded by armed members of the Belgian police. Hmmn, unusual…..

Eventually the plane began to fill up until there remained just two empty seats – the two next to me. Then, I espied another policeman. This one was on board. This one was making his way down the aisle towards me. This policeman was towing two reluctant passenger handcuffed together behind him. He un-cuffed his prisoners, ensured they sat down in the seats next to me, and he left.

I felt a tad uncomfortable in my window seat. The two prisoners looked like they had just escaped from a Hollywood film set. The film would have been called something like “Serial Gangster and his Bitch: Escape to Belgium”.

We did not introduce ourselves or exchange pleasantries. The bloke, who had the aisle seat looked like your typical South American drug dealer. He was tall with long dark hair tied back in a ponytail. He sported a goatee and a silver tooth. A medallion. He wore a black sleeveless shirt that showed off his not-inconsiderable muscles and his prison tattoos, and, leather pants.

His slim, gum-chewing, buxom girlfriend was dressed like a hooker, similarly dark-haired, “blinged” and tattooed. Her cleavage was impressively squeezed into a boob tube that was cut off to show her pierced midriff and six-pack. She had an impossibly tiny denim skirt which revealed a lot of thigh above high-heeled, knee-length shiny black boots. I was sure that she must have her own website……and that it would be a popular one!

These pair were clearly “no-do-gooders” being extradited from Belgium to the Netherlands. Both were clearly stoned. The woman in particular was out of it and proceeded to rest her head on my shoulder and fall asleep. She dribbled. A growing damp patch soon began to fill my shirt sleeve. I did not complain. I did not move. I tried not to look at her bosom or thighs for fear that her man might be watching. So, I fixed my gaze out of the window until we landed in Amsterdam.

All the other passengers left the plane before the armed Dutch police officer came on board, re-cuffed his guests and rescued me.

This was the one and only time I have been the last to get off a plane. I prefer the aisle seat. I travel by train between Brussels and the Netherlands now!


Entry filed under: flying, humour, travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Planes, Trains And Automobiles (Part 1) Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Part 3)

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Darren Cronian  |  May 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

    OMG, this was an hilarious blog post.

    I really wish my travels were as “enjoyable” as yours.

    Great post.


  • […] Planes, Trains And Automobiles (Part 2) « Middle Man posted at Middle Man is a hilarious account of incidents, on the short flight from Belgium to Holland, peppered with confusion over political correctness. Middle Man laments the lack of pretty female cabin crew with the growing number of Julian Clary wannabes taking on the job. After sitting next to a couple who looked like a gangster and his moll, escorted on to the plane by a police officer, Middleman decided to let the train take the strain in future. […]


  • […] Planes, Trains And Automobiles (Part 2) « Middle Man posted at Middle Man is a hilarious account of incidents, on the short flight from Belgium to Holland, peppered with confusion over political correctness. Middle Man laments the lack of pretty female cabin crew with the growing number of Julian Clary wannabes taking on the job. After sitting next to a couple who looked like a gangster and his moll, escorted on to the plane by a police officer, Middleman decided to let the train take the strain in future. […]


  • 4. zugaldia  |  May 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Well, being a native Spanish speaker the multilingual thing is indeed kind of annoying, that’s why it’s right to seat next to the aisle in order to concentrate on really important issues.


  • 5. planetalking  |  December 5, 2008 at 11:12 am

    ….I used to like to travel on my own but I think you have just changed my mind!


  • 6. thedreamtripper  |  December 18, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Very glad you stopped by my blog to leave a comment or I never would have had the sheer joy of reading this hilarious post!

    The Dream Tripper

    P.S. Oh, and by the way, we female cabin crew members don’t really care what you call us (as long as it’s not “Hey, you!”)…it’s mostly our male colleagues who take offense to being called “stewardess”! 🙂


  • 7. aka_lol  |  January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    These are good and memorable experiences. I think the Belgian was lucky to survive with only a bruised ego. But bruised egos can hurt for months.

    Flight Attendant is the common term used in the North American airlines. I am trying to remember but certainly short skirts are out (not off) as far as uniforms are concerned in modern times


  • 8. Middle Man  |  January 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

    The lack of skirts in North America may indeed be a blessing in disguise as this will explain:


  • 9. Airline Blogger  |  January 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Really enjoyed your post as usual.



  • 10. randallbourquin  |  February 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Hahaha thanks for the read – I wish I would have been so fortunate as to witness the man fall down he aisle on my one and only flight of my life thus far, what a treat that would have been.


  • 11. Adrie  |  May 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for reading my blog and for bringing this post to my attention as I am definitely amused! I’ve had several passengers brush off my instructions to sit down on take off as well as landing and I can tell you that we, as in the cabin crew, always laughed our cute little asses off over these incidents. Not that I’m saying that I like to see anyone get hurt of course, but that one stupid mistake always results in 200+ people who will not make that mistake in the future! LOL

    Love the blog!!



    • 12. Middle Man  |  May 8, 2009 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Adrie…..just been travelling on Czech Airlines – not enough “cute little asses” if you ask me!


  • 13. Pradeep Menon  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    that was hilarious 😀



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Comments

Patricia Pover on The real Game of Thrones…
Middle Man on M6 – The Haunted Mo…
Anonymous on M6 – The Haunted Mo…
Patricia Pover on Wine gums, please…..
Patricia Pover on Home sweet home….


Follow me on Twitter

My Tweets

Enter your email address to receive new posts.

Join 235 other followers

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

  • 691,543 hits

Flag Counter


Travels 2016

Lesley Jennings

In and Around Shere

A beautiful area in the heart of the Surrey Hills

Talking in circles

Graduate, dog-lover and cake aficionado. Really.

21c Scotland

Scottish Blue Badge Guide


These are the sometimes irreverent ramblings and observations of an English middle-aged man and middle manager.....

Public Value for Money

These are the sometimes irreverent ramblings and observations of an English middle-aged man and middle manager.....

Fit and Fabulous at 40 Plus

Rediscover yourself - food, inspiration & training programmes

Akinsankofa's Blog

Just another weblog


My own, honest (ish) thoughts and fears of expat life.

%d bloggers like this: