This past week I’ve been in London and Germany. I’ve had a chance to sit back and watch how other people travel. It’s a good opportunity for me to just kind of lay back and observe. By this stage in my life I try to plan ahead and do my packing as neatly as possible and with a minimum of fuss. I try to take only the clothes I will need and not over pack. As you know, this is often harder to do than it sounds.

When boarding an airplane I always make every effort to get into my seat as quickly as possible to allow others to get past me and get in their positions. The planes won’t leave until everyone is in their seats. Some people seem to be unaware of this and hang out in the aisles as if they are the only ones on the plane and no one else needs to be seated. These people fool with their bags in the overhead bins, look for their books, make cell phones calls, comb their hair, update their makeup and just about everything else besides brushing their teeth. Here’s another one now.getting into his seat with his iPod on and ear buds plugged he decides to put up the music and grab a book from his back pack which has about 20 different zipper pockets’ he unzips all of them before he finds what he is looking for. I suppose it never occurred to him to do this before he got into the aisle of the plane while about 75 people are waiting to get into their seats.

Often you will see people on a full flight who have some sort of bag that they try to fit into the overhead bin that I am afraid will punch a hole in the side of the aircraft which is sure to cause us further delays. You can go to great lengths to neatly fold your coat only to sit back and see some bozo shove everything aside in order to make more room for a box or bag that they should have checked when they got to the terminal. I was on a flight in South America years ago and a man had a cage full of chickens that he stored in the overhead bin, but that’s another story. My wife and I did see a man traveling with a parrot when we were in Seattle earlier this month. Stick around long enough and I suppose you’ve see just about everything.

On one of the flights I took, this past week there was a young couple flying with twins. The stroller they had with them could have been used as a shopping cart in any grocery store I’ve ever shopped. This item was too big to bring into the plane but they did carry the kids along with two giant car seats which had to be strapped into the regular seats and then have the kids strapped securely before we could leave. This poor couple had bags and packages stuffed into every part of the plane. The only way for them to find their things when we landed was to wait and see what was left after the rest of us got off. I have no idea what their luggage looked like. They probably needed a truck to haul everything from one place to another.

I can’t remember taking any of my kids on a plane when they were this young. I do recall that when we did travel, we carried a diaper bag, baby bottles and a bottle warmer. We might have had a quilt of some kind. No car seats, no stroller, nothing big and bulky like I see in the airports today. I would suppose traveling with this amount of stuff requires one to develop a sense of planning. It’s not like you can just decide you’d like to throw everything they carry today over your arm and head to the airport. No, carrying kids today takes planning and logistical support. Lots of support.

My wife thinks I am becoming cynical the older I get. I hope she is not correct. I do sincerely try to maintain a sense of humor about most things as well as be more sympathetic and have more patience towards other. I suppose I am still a piece of work in progress and there is always room for improvement in my attitude.

I’ll try to work on it a little more as soon as I’ m able to get into my seat once this idiot in front of me sits down.