Do you dress up for an airplane flight?
My parents used to insist that we look presentable when we flew. I think it had something to do with our representing our family to the public.
Indeed, to take public transport is to put yourself in the public eye. Traveling you know how you appear to the outside world, how they sum you up, who you are.
I still like to wear something nice when I fly. It's fun to be ready to head straight to happy hour or dinner after you get off the plane. And it's fun to feel a bit glamorous or try out a new style when you travel.
Traveling one becomes aware of one's shoes. If the plane crashed and you survived, would your shoes allow you to walk many miles from the plane to the (imaginary) road?
Traveling one becomes aware of whether one fits in. Does your bag fit under the seat? Is it bigger than you are?
No shoes, no sleeves? These days most people wear any old thing on a plane, but since your seatmate can't get off the plane or switch seats or don a mask, it seems to me that people have an obligation to keep on their shoes and wear shirts with sleeves. I recently sat next to a person wearing a sleeveless top who took off her shoes during the flight.
I thought I would get used to the smells; I didn't.
"Everybody get up, get on the bus!" I'm much more accepting of body odor when I ride on a bus or light rail train since we're not sharing a confined airspace for very long. I love riding with people from all walks of life, and I enjoy the vicarious scent of cigarettes and hard work. I'm not as crazy about the smell of alcohol from the night before, but it's understandable--it's a hard life we're all living, and many of us are living hard.
The British ask how was your "journey" whether the ride was long or short. On the whole we look better going than returning, more put together as we climb on the train in the morning than when we step off it at night. Traveling afar, most of us wear our best outfit on the way out and whatever's semi-clean on the way home. We're a little worse for wear on our way back, but we don't care much anymore--we just want to get home.
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