Annoying Things Nigerians Do On Airplanes.
1. Securing beds…in Economy Class! There’s a game Nigerian passengers play whenever they’re on-board a semi-full airplane – It’s kind of similar to Musical Chairs…but without the music. Passengers snub the seats assigned to them and scout for a stretch of three to four empty seats before take-off. Handbags and other luggage items are strategically placed on empty seats in the hope for that Business Class experience – pathetic.
2. Making dramatic Nollywood scenes. Whoever said ‘Rules are meant to be broken’ must have been a Nigerian. We’re pretty damn good at breaking rules…into smithereens, just for good measure. There was one woman sat at the front of economy class with her less-than-a-year-old baby. She put her baby down on the empty seat next to her when the seat belt light was off (not sure if that’s proper in the first place but I’ll let her off on that one). The moment the seat belt light was back on, however, one of the air hostesses called her to order and told her to strap her baby in place – RED ALERT! RED ALERT! MAY DAY! MAY DAY! You knew from the way the irritated mother turned her neck with that ‘oh-no-you-didn’t’ expression all over her face that cabin pressure was under serious threat. Needless today she told the air hostess to mind her own business – ironically, that’s what the air-hostess was trying to do in the first place…Safety of passengers…DUH! I can’t remember if the thud I heard later on was due to turbulence or because the baby had rolled off the chair…
3. Taking pictures. You can imagine trying to enjoy a good book when suddenly the corner of your eye picks up the flash photography of some newbie whose obviously hell-bent on convincing everyone back in Nigeria that he/she indeed travel abroad. Newsflash! There may be people with photosensitive epilepsy on-board or nearby pilots wondering if there is a terrorist hijacking, with one unfortunate Nigerian who decided to break one simple rule ‘DON’T MOVE!’ (go figure!)
4. Farting. It’s bad enough you left your assigned seat at the front and decided to come behind me and stretch yourself across four empty seats. Now you’re so generous as to share your flatulence with me in small doses of ammonia-laced farts…not a one-off…periodic discharges which could catch choke me unawares if I dare yawn. FYI, avoid fizzy drinks on the plane if you know you can’t handle your abdominal tract like few pros among us.
5. Drink to stupor. Is it the sheer pettiness of wanting to get one’s money’s worth that would make a passenger drink like a fish? (Remember, its Nigerians we’re talking about here). Of course, it’s not the drinking that bothers me but the mindless banter and laughter at completely ‘unfunny’ things that drives me up the Berlin wall (just like that – after a couple of drinks you’d be in stitches when you read ‘drive me up the berlin wall’).
6. Leaving toilets unlocked. Common sense consistently fails to prevail when most Nigerians use the airline’s restrooms. It all boils down to refusing to acknowledge the instructions/directions carefully displayed all around them. It’s quite simple – you enter the restroom and close it behind you. Right there on door is a slide lock which denotes ‘Slide left to lock and right to open’. Why wouldn’t I be interested in making sure that no one accidentally sees my ‘bits’? Didn’t they notice the green ‘vacant’ or the red ‘occupied’ sign before entering the lavatory? At my last count I’ve walked in on 3 unfortunate passengers who forgot to lock behind (but they all did once I exposed them…makes you wonder, eh?).
7. Sitting ovation. I’m not sure if you can relate but you’re nearing your flight destination and as soon as the plane lands successfully passengers around you start to clap until virtually everyone joins in. Why are they doing this, you ask? beats me – for landing safely or for not crashing into the deep blue sea or for getting their money’s worth after usurping the mini bar…I dunno. The clapping is cheesy in my opinion. I’d much prefer passengers go one by one to shake the pilot(s) for a job well done plane well-landed.
And coming in at a surprise number 8 is Irregular exercise. Make no mistake about it, Nigerians are terrified about premature death, more so than the average civilian (if that makes any sense). I’ve seen the most bizarre repetitions performed from kicking mid-air to punching only your left arm over the seat head in the same direction. Deep Vein thrombosis is no laughing matter so I guess all I have to do is close my eyes next time if I don’t want to behold seemingly amateurish ‘Kung-fu’.