picture credit: Cruise Ship Passengers, Brian Wotherspoon – Flickr
Article by Ana Alibegova
Only a day is left before the start of the journey to one of your favorite destination. The excitement reaches the peak, a hostel is booked, tickets are bought, the passport is here, packing is soon coming to an end. There is no way you can sleep tonight; tomorrow is the “D day”, when your holiday or study abroad is going to start. “I will get some sleep during the trip, there is plenty of time”, you try to comfort yourself. But sorry to disappoint you, it can easily happen that the eventual short nap in the taxi to the airport might be the only 15 minutes you will truly enjoy after you left home. Let us see who you can meet during your journey!
In the taxi
There are two types of taxi drivers that you can easily run into: the Expert and the Grumbler. Very often both types are integrated in a single person.
The Expert: They know everything, from politics, unemployment rate, GINI index, average salaries in the world countries, all the news in turbo-folk industry, detailed analyses of the politicians’ love life. They are always the ones to finish the discussion, and get extremely angry if your opinion differs than theirs.
The Grumbler: On the other hand, the Grumbler possesses the same information as the Expert, but uses not only to argue, but also to conclude that: “There is no country in the world where the situation is worse than ours”. His favorite quote is: “All the politicians are thieves”.
So, if you want to be safe and sound and reach the airport calmly, do your best to avoid any debate (put on your headphones for instance) or just nod with your head, no matter what they say.
picture credit: author
On the bus
A trip by bus can also last for hours, so as longer the journey as bigger are the chances to meet the trouble-makers. Also here some specific profiles can be identified:
Turbo-folk Drivers: This trip can be an experience of a life-time because of the music taste of the drivers. I have nothing against people who prefer lively sounds, Barbie-looking singers, and simple lyrics, but listening to the same CD during the whole trip is killing. So, if the trip lasts longer, you arrive at the final destination, and by then you already know all the songs from the CD by heart.
“Five-Pieces-of-Baggage-per-Person” Carrier: This person travels by bus to transport as much as possible things for its family and friends. White cheese, dozens of home-made jars of jam, 35-kilo bags of red paprika, salami, even parts of furniture are just some of the things you can find in the luggage compartment. Not to mention some home-made rakia or couple of cigarette boxes. This traveler usually prays that the border customs would not check every single piece of luggage, because it knows that re-packing all those things again is almost impossible. The fellow-travelers join their pray, longing to reach the final destination on time.
Spicy-Salami-and-Hamburger Eater: They use the short breaks to go to the toilette, buy something from the petrol station and take some fresh air. When the bus continues its journey, they get appetite immediately and start to eat in the bus. Additionally, the smell from the spicy salami or the hamburger could be felt by everybody from the first until the last five seats. Moreover, the Eater completely ignores the people who feel sick during the journey, and continue to slice the salami with passion and enjoy every bite to the fullest.
“Never-Heard-of-Foot-Powder” Person: Knowing that the journey will last for hours, they want to do everything to feel as comfortable as possible. Surely, number one thing to do is to get rid of your shoes, especially as the night falls and you can sleep calmly in your seat (if you are not irritated by the salami-eaters, of course). Well, there is nothing bad in searching for some coziness, but the foot smell can be quite unpleasant. Added to the salami, to the constantly working air-conditioning and the dust in the bus, it creates an unbearable situation for many of the travelers. Of course, the chance to meet this traveler is biggest when traveling by bus.
However, not much is left in such situation; you are stacked in the same place with fifty different people, unfortunately, some of them with odd and unpleasant habits. If you get really irritated, try to ask the problematic traveler politely to stop the action they are doing. Or, try to work on your tolerance, listen your favorite music, have a nap and ignore everything as much as you can.
On the train
The slowest, but perhaps the most convenient of all transportation. An excellent solution if you want to talk and meet people, enjoy beautiful scenery and feel comfortable. Some short breaks are made at every bigger station, so you can use that time to lighten a cigarette or just to stretch your legs. However, the problematic travelers are present here as well:
Talk Addict: Talks constantly on the self-phone. Probably, they have some extremely cheap tariff model and use the opportunity to call all their family, distant relatives, forgotten aunts. Very often this person talks loudly and does not care at all if you can hear all the details about their private life. The good thing is that your salvation will come when the Talk Addict’s self-phone will run off battery. No need to cheer in advance, talking on phone can easily convert into talking with the other travelers in the coupe, or with the ones sitting on the opposite site of the wagon.
picture credit: Citybeat Eamon – Queeney
Seat-occupier: Not so problematic type of travelers, but still one of those that can easily get on your nerves. Often appears in a form of a family. Three-member family is occupying the entire coupe, intended for six people. There is no way to sit by the window, the kids want to jump around and in the same time are curious to look how the trees and buildings move outside. Yes, there is no lack of toys, blankets and sweets. So if you are forced to share your space with these travelers, try to be optimistic: just imagine that the same trip by bus would be even more terrible and irritating.
On the plane
The fastest, the most efficient, but in the same time, the most expensive way to reach your destination. So, when you pay some euros more, you want to enjoy your comfort. Unfortunately, the reality might not fulfill your expectations.
The Long-legs Traveler: Always complains that there is not enough space for theirs legs. If you seat next to them, be ready to fight for the some space for your legs. Or if you go to the toilet, make sure to be careful, their legs might be stretching over the aisle.
The Organizer: knows everything – where to put your luggage, where you should sit, how long the trip will last. You can meet this traveler on the other means of transport, but his favorite place is the plane.
Crying Babies and Ignorant Mothers: Obviously, they come in pairs. It is not babies’ fault that they cry during the flight, but it is some of the mothers that do not try to do anything to prevent this. Also the aircraft should make the trip as convenient as possible. There is nothing much you can do in such situation, but show some understanding and put on your earplugs.
On the boat
The best would be to get involved in different activities, especially when the boat is big enough and there is diversity of things you can do: from drinking coffee in the bar, dancing in the club, enjoying the view at the desk. However, there is one particular profile of traveler you can meet easily in the bar, in the club, everywhere:
Drama King or Drama Queen: Their favorite movie is Titanic and they are obsessed with the film story. The Drama King or the Drama Queen is afraid that the apocalypse will come today and that they will end their life in the middle of the sea, all alone, far from family and friends. They start to make panic out of every wave that hits the boat and in 60 seconds are able to develop at least three scenarios for horror movies.
If you see this traveler, be nice with them and do not try to frighten them more. Use this unique opportunity to make a retrospective of your life and hear some interesting horror stories.
Experts, Grumblers, Turbo-Folk Drivers, “Five-Pieces-of-Baggage-per-Person”-Carriers, Spicy-Salami-and-Hamburger Eaters, Never-Heard-of-Foot-Powder People, Talk-Addicts, Seat-occupiers, Long-Legs Travelers, Organizers, Crying Babies and Ignorant Mothers, Drama Kings and Drama Queens – it is a notorious fact that we cannot avoid these people on our journeys. Accept the things you cannot change, expect the best, but be prepared for the worst. And yeah, keep an eye on your companions, but never forget that some of them might also perceive you as “one of those not to mess with” :).
N.B. The text expresses author’s opinion and exclusively its aim is to entertain and not to stigmatize, affront or offend.