AS countries open up and we Asians start flying again, I thought it imperative to write this little piece, which I also recommend you take with a pinch of salt, though there is some truth in it.
Most International Airlines think Asians are suicide bombers and feel we have nothing more to do except blow ourselves up in their planes, so here are some tips for a less traumatic flight and not to be treated as a terrorist:
First of all, never smile at the airhostess when you enter an aircraft! I do agree she smiles at you but don’t for heaven’s sake ever return the smile. Pretend she doesn’t exist! If you do otherwise, the captain will be told about your strange ways and you may end up smiling your way to a lock up!
From this, you may gather that smiles are not allowed on board; most often you may be smiling because you are happy going back to your families you haven’t seen for months, or even years, but never allow a trace of joy to show; these people have been trained to believe that signs of happiness are signs a radical fanatic displays before setting off a bomb!
After being seated order a cocktail! You don’t drink? Sorry my friend when in the sky do what frequent fliers do! Never ask for water! Most flight stewards don’t know what water is and may alert security and the nearest airport if you ask for the same. Even if you have to pour your drink onto your neighbour, do so, but see you have a cocktail in your hand!
And of course a book on your lap! You will notice most fellow non- Asian types have a book lying open, never mind the pages aren’t turned from New York to Mumbai, but an open book puts you above suspicion; it makes you look, ah well, educated.
Finally, if you’ve got a beard like I have, shave it off. Foreigners think that the end of your beard is attached to the beginning of a bomb, so with scissors and razor, knock it off. I won’t which is why I’m treated with utmost suspicion on every single flight I take even in the last domestic flight where only my baggage was searched, to the amusement of the missus who wondered how they thought I was young enough to be a suicide bomber.
With these few suggestions I wish all you passengers a happy and safe journey. All the best my fellow Asians in your travels around a troubled world! If you find all this too difficult, just fly Air-India. I know you said goodbye to it sometime ago, but the Maharaja is set on treating you with respect. So just say Ta-ta to the others and fly like a raja..!