Anyway, back to airplane etiquette. We flew Swiss Air from Zurich to Barcelona. I enjoy Swiss Air. They are typically on-time, the flight staff is always nice, they give you a decent sandwich on the short 1.5 hour flight, and chocolate. How can you go wrong with an airline that gives you chocolate? That’s right you can’t.
Where you can go wrong, is with other passengers. Now I’m going to generalize here, but I realize that there are some significant cultural differences between Americans and Europeans and the frequency in which we bathe. I have no doubt that there are many Europeans out there that think we may even verge on fanatical with the frequency of our showers/baths. I know that there have been occasions where I have even showered twice in the same day. It’s rare but it happens. I like to shower in the morning because (a) it wakes me up and (b) I often wake with a headache and it helps relieve it. As for the second shower, typically happens if I have been working in the yard, or have had a particularly strenuous workout and feel grimy. No one likes to feel grimy. Well at least not “this” someone. Here’s the thing. Regardless of your views on bathing I would like to respectfully suggest that if you know that you will be spending any time at all in an enclosed space with other human beings, for instance a: plane, train, automobile, heck even an elevator, that you take a shower prior to said activity.
I’m sure the man who was seated next to me on the plane was very nice but he was also extremely odorous. At one point I considered jamming the cherry menthol cough drops I was carrying up my nose in an effort to stop the scent but I thought that might be a bit extreme and possibly ineffective. Instead I popped one in my mouth. If you have ever had a cherry menthol cough drop you know that they overwhelm your sinuses. After about 30 minutes, the guy next to me fell asleep and I thought that I had either gotten used to the scent or my sense of smell had been effectively deadened. I was wrong, because he eventually woke up and moved. It seems obvious now that movement would increase airflow and result in a new bout of noxious fumes. There is a silver lining in all of this: this was a short flight and not one of our trips back to the US.
So please, if you are someone who only showers once or twice a week, please, please schedule it the day you are going to be on a plane. The other passengers would appreciate it. Yes, your spouse “loves” the way you smell, but we can’t all be married to you. Oh and if you think skipping the shower and going for the heavy dosage of perform/cologne will suffice. No, really it wont. That just adds a new layer of overwhelming scent to the mix. Deodorant will help, but typically only after a shower or at least a quick sink bath. It does nothing to help eliminate a scent that is already present.
Tomorrow - Barcelona
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