Recently we had an unsettling airport experience at Phuket, mainly because all passengers had to get both their hand luggage and their suitcases searched. I was nervous because I had bought some “valium” from a pharmacy on Bangala Road and tossed it inside an empty vitamin bottle which now lay at the bottom of my suitcase. I hefted my bag up onto the counter and unzipped it, trying to act casual.“You have firework?” the Thai man said, patting my dirty underpants and wet swimmers.
“Have a nice fliiiiiiiiight.”
In addition to the luggage search, we were subjected to four security checkpoints, where at each one I was forced to throw out all the bottled water I had purchased since the previous check. By the time we boarded the plane, I had thrown away seven fully-sealed bottles of water and I was pretty pissed. Ryan had paid for all the water, so he was a little more pissed.
A few rows ahead of us, a young blonde woman fussed around her bags as her husband held their 6-month old baby, who immediately burst into tears. In any other situation, people would tsk tsk affectionately and smile sympathetically at the couple. “Babies will be babies!” you would tell them. But on a plane, the mood is different. To carry a crying baby onto an international flight is the fastest way to make 300+ people passionately hate you. There were several babies on this flight, and they were all beginning to wail.
“Ughhhhhhh,” I moaned, rifling through my backpack for a pair of ear plugs.
“They’re like dogs,” the man beside me observed, “As soon as one starts howlin’, they just set off all the other fuckers.”
“Why doesn’t she put it in the overhead locker?” Ryan said.
For the next nine and a half hours, the blonde lady paced up and down the aisle while her baby screamed. Every time I nodded off, she would pass our row and wake me up. I began to fantasise, unashamedly, about ways to kill the baby.
By the time we reached Sydney, the mother looked as though she had experienced the longest nine hours of her life. Again, under normal circumstances, I would have felt sorry for her. But I didn’t. Because thanks to her, I had now been awake for two days. And also, because even though I don’t have children, I can give totally advice on how to travel with them.
Tips on how to travel with a baby
1. Don’t take it on a plane
Just don’t. At least not on an overnight flight. Babies don’t like planes. They will probably cry when they are forced to get on one. That tiny person who has no inhibitions, isn’t toilet trained, can’t equalise their ears, and is probably terrified because they don’t understand what the hell is going on? Just take them on a road trip this year, because when you get on a plane with them, everybody hates you. So you don’t get to go to Fiji this year, tough shit. The baby won’t know the difference between a trip to Fiji and a cardboard box. Plus, it’ll probably be more fun for you in a few years time once the kid is a less of a fucking nightmare to travel with.
I’ve spoken to several okay-seeming mothers who have doped their babies on flights and so far none of them have stutters or eat cat biscuits. Not only will sedating your child spare all the other passengers from nine hours of torture, but the kid will get a good buzz out of it too.
If you ignore number 1 and 2, and your baby is upset about being on the plane (which is likely, as explained in number 1), just go sit in the toilet. Sure, it’s probably not the most pleasant place to spend a flight, but your baby is clearly already hating everything about this experience. What’s it going to do, cry?
If you’re a parent, you’re probably reading this and getting all bent out of shape because I don’t have kids. You probably think that bringing a baby on a plane is fine, maybe it even adds a bit of excitement to an otherwise uneventful ten hours. But you have crossed over. Try to cast your mind back to before you had a kid and gave up on personal comfort. And if you absolutely must fly with a baby, make it a day-time flight. That way, even though you’re still annoying the shit out of everyone, they were probably going to be awake anyway. Getting on a 10pm international flight with a shrieking baby means you are really going to fuck up everyone for the next two days. We know it’s not fun for you either, but you are better equipped to deal with the sleep deprivation and noise torture, because you love your child. Nobody else does.
- Looking at your own poo was important because it told you whether you were healthy or not.
- Female pleasure was considered essential for conception to occur, so if you got knocked up in a rape you could never press charges because obviously you enjoyed it, you swampy whore.
- When you were dying, the priest would announce it at church and then everyone would come to your house to stand around and watch you die.
- If you didn’t die “properly” and went under screaming, crying, or freaking out, you were considered a huge pussy and would have to kill more time in purgatory than people who died more pleasantly.
- Rich people didn’t eat garlic because it was considered peasant food.
- Vaginas didn’t really exist. Girls just had inverted penises and if you jumped up and down enough, it would eventually fall out.
- It was considered “womanly” for an unmarried man to sleep with a lot of women, so in order to maintain his masculinity he would bum dudes instead.
- You could swaddle your baby and hang it from a tree all day while you were off ploughing fields and nobody would think less of you.
- Generally speaking, there was never any need to take a bath.
- Women had no souls, just like black people and slaves.
- People would take a dump in most places. There were no toilets anywhere and no real concept of cleanliness, so you could poop pretty much wherever you wanted and not be embarrassed about it like I was. If you were royalty you might have a “toilet” on one of your castle’s turrets where you could shit off the side of the building and your shit would slowly run down the wall into the shit-filled moat below.
- It was a pretty gross time for everybody.
aka I am doing Open Uni again.
- Pack ear plugs anytime you go anywhere because people are awful.
- You should always take spare headphones in case you sit on somebody else’s on the plane and break them with your strength/arse.
- When ordering food on your holiday, think about the country and the landscape and the stuff on it. If you haven’t seen a cow for a while, skip the beef.
- The kinds of people you want to avoid when you travel are: children, people who have children, and anyone who has written a self-help book.
- Even if you are traveling with your favourite person on earth, they are bound to annoy the shit out of you at some point. The best way to deal with this is to sweep all your belongings off your banana lounge and dump everything onto the ground, say “You want this chair? Take the fucking chair,” and then lock yourself in the hotel room and eat a whole tube of sour cream and chives Pringles.
- Overnight train is the worst form of travel after Holocaust box car.
- If someone’s body language doesn’t quite make sense, it’s probably because they are cutting open your handbag with a stanley knife and trying to steal your wallet.
- Staying at a fancy resort turns you into a jerk fairly quickly and you will soon find yourself asking a waiter where the fuck is my mojito?
- Boys don’t really appreciate spa treatments and are likely to describe an amazing and luxurious experience as “being hit with bags of seeds” or “someone wiping their hands on my face, like a lot, and those satin pyjama pants made my balls really sweaty.”
- they drink a lot of juice.
- they get mad when you hook up with their friends.
- they are ordinarily incapable of organising anything more complicated than a home-delivered pizza, but can fashion a fish tank from an abandoned computer monitor they discovered on the street or prepare an impressive variety of liquor-filled frozen Easter eggs in just a few moments.
- if you have a party, they will get completely blind and then pass out in their bedrooms while you are left to make sure nobody steals the TV or starts a fire.
- they can yell awful, psychologically-damaging things at each other, sit in stormy silence for 45 seconds, and then start chatting again normally as if nothing ever happened.
- when you get dumped and wake them up with your crying, they are pretty useless and will generally just pat you on the back and tell you analogies about boats to try and put things in perspective for you. I guess that still helps though.
- they eat a lot of cereal.
Telephones were first discovered in 1972, secretly nestled amongst the cocoa fields of the Alaskan desert.
Scientists believe that the telephones were first planted by dinosaurs. “We have significant reason to believe that the telephone may, in fact, be post-modern,” somebody said.
Others maintain that the telephone was the original source of polio, which received critical acclaim in 2002. “We’re not making any promises,” says Jeremiah, “But I get my paycheck every month either way, so the telephone can suck my dick for all I care.”
There’s a gym across from my office and sometimes I see people getting changed through the window.