Traveling to Nepal to gather data for the book is an adventure…one that demands a sense of humor, patience and the ability to flop across the International Date Line without losing your mind. You would think careful planning means booking flights, coordinating transfers, getting up-to-date vaccines but it is the small things that make and break a trip. The flights are long, so carefully calculating where you sit on the plane is essential as packing toilet paper. So which are you, an aisle or window dweller? On most flights I opt for the aisle seat…I prefer the freedom of getting up regularly to stretch or to let the window tenant out of the row. Never a middle seat…caught between the idiosyncrasies of strangers there is nothing redeeming about sitting between people in a row designed to accommodate nothing bigger than a toddler.
But on long haul flights, like the 20+ hour flights to Nepal, I go window. If you angle the seat just right…stuff your jacket in the tampon sized pillow they provide…and tilt like the leaning Tower of Pisa you can actually sleep. I say usually…unless the person next to you spends the entire 7-hour flight playing video games on the touch screen TV with her pen…tap…tap…tap…tap…tap…all night long. But wait, I exaggerate…she paused for an hour to read the Sky Mall magazine, carefully shopping and then reading aloud her choices to her travel companion seated across from her. Think nasal accent, high-pitched voice and the following “I rather fancy this. Listen and tell me what you think; The authentic cashmere quality lining, oh, it’s authentic quality cashmere!” I estimate she outfitted herself for the fall and winter along with upgrading all her electronics and restyled her home in Asian motif by the time we were circling London for the 3rd time.
Second question: social or anti-social? If everyone would just wear a label that said “I’m a chatterbox or I just got divorced or I’m an interesting person” it would be so much easier to decide if you want to exchange intimate details of your life with the person crammed against your elbow. I tend to play it safe and just bury my nose in a book or assume the gargoyle posture when my seat companion starts talking. Maybe next flight I’ll just start tap, tap, tap, tap, tap dancing in my seat.
So I promised I would include the table of contents in this post. The one thing I learned from that was to never make promises that you don’t already know are true. Not ready for prime time quite yet…and I’m not making any promises except to say next week the topic is the book’s title.