Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Fear of flying in Nigeria

The gentleman who sat by my side on an Arik flight from Abuja to Lagos  on Monday registered himself with me as a grouchy old man.

He would not respond to greetings. Even when I offered to help him reach up to the baggage hold to keep his suit holder (he is short), he just looked at me as if I was not there, and continued to struggle. I concluded he was a frustrated fellow and left him alone.

For the entire flight he looked like one fed up with life, even though he accepted the inflight snack and ate it with aplomb.

The moment our flight touched down, this same gentleman turned to me and shared a joke, smiling broadly. I had to look around to be sure I was the one he was talking to. I was.

I took another look at this man, and he was literally lit up with smiles all over. Then, it hit me. He had nothing against me. His grouchy behaviour of the previous 40 minutes was his own way of dealing with the terror of flying in a Nigerian commercial plane post Associated Airlines crash.

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