TXL --> BEY (revisited)

31 Dec 2006 | 531 words | beirut berlin lebanon airtravel

This post does not really make sense (in the sense of being one coherent entity) but rather shares a couple of observations that have nothing to do with each other. Fortunately i can tie them together by pointing to my first ever blog post (the ones that appear to have been posted earlier have actually been inserted at a later point in time) which was also written on the plane to from Berlin to Beirut.

What i wrote then also holds true for the behavior of the passengers on tonight’s flight (the crew is a bit more relaxed this time). Looks like flights from Berlin to Beirut are my favorite ones when it comes to social dynamics and the general behavior of the passengers. Of course there probably is a rather obvious explanation for the good vibe on this plane. Basically the whole plane is full of families and young people flying back to their ‘home’ country (or that of their parents) probably after not having been there for a long while. Couple that with the late hour of the day, the consumption of alcohol and the general excitement about seeing relatives and friends and you will have behavioral patterns that do not fit well with the rigidity of an economy class cabin. Tarek says that ‘they can turn an airplane in a souk in seconds’.

The only thing which is different today is that much of the conversations resolve around politics and a couple of people have asked me if i am not afraid to go to Beirut at this time, which as far as i can tell i am not. In contrast Lufthansa seems to be a afraid, as they do not allow their crews to have a lay over in Beirut because of ‘the political situation’, so the same crew has to operate both the in and outbound flight (10 hours in total).

For the rest i have just finished reading Steven Johnson’s ‘the ghost map‘ which is an absolute must read if you still read books. The whole book is a brilliantly written celebration of bacteria, map making, city dwelling and interdisciplinary collaboration (Commons based beer production for heather). and while i am recommending entertainment here i might just as well add that you should watch this little gem of a educational video on you tube.

Correction: i was lying, i did not finish ‘the ghost map’ on the plane, as i did not read the epilogue until today and this epilogue is worthless. Johnson suddenly starts talking about terrorism in an extremely annoying, hysterical and self righteous fashion (he is an Amercian after all). reading this made me question the whole book, so do not read the epilogue if you want to do yourself a favor.

Finally i hope to be posting quite a bit over the next few days, but in case i am not you might want to take a closer look at these two blogs (if you are interested in current events in Beirut): remarkz (more frequently updated) and anecdotes from a banana republic (much more entertaining! go read her observations about Walid Jumblat and Angela Merkel at the end of this post!)