Here are some of the things I observed over the past few weeks:


Date: 1st June 2017

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport

Observation: A group of seven young women had just arrived from the U.K., all wearing white dresses, with sashes draping from shoulder to hip. A second or two later I noticed that they were in fact wedding sashes, as each one had written on it the role that that woman will have during the bride’s wedding. So much for a hen party. These beautifully-dressed ladies were on a hen holiday!


Date: 1st June 2017

Time: 10:45 p.m.

Place: Ryanair flight to Tenerife

Observation: Probably the best cabin crew I’ve encountered during my travels, so far. They are the true meaning of the phrase “service with a smile”, with a very friendly approach, even sharing the occasional joke or two with passengers and between themselves, too. I won’t forget, for instance, the way the air hostess dealt with a crying baby girl during the plane’s descent. She asked the parents if she could hold the girl, and they let her. The air hostess walked up and down the aisle, holding the baby in her arms as if she were her own, whistling tunes and cradling the adorable bundle of joy, until she eventually calmed down. Another cool thing I noticed on this flight was the way the cabin crew members communicated with each other whenever they needed to get more ice from the freezer compartment. This was the procedure: one member would be towards the back or front of the plane. The other, who’s in the aisle with the cart, would press the bell button on the panel above the passenger’s head, drawing the attention of the crew member who’s in the front/back. The aisle cabin crew member would then point towards their own eyes using two fingers – their index and middle finger – meaning that they need more ice. Get it? Them pointing towards their eyes whenever they needed ice. Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly grammatically correct. They are two words which are spelled differently. However, they sound very similar. But hey, the message definitely got across.


Date: 12th June 2017

Time: 4:35 p.m.

Place: Valletta, Malta

Observation: Whilst waiting for the bus to arrive, I noticed that the young lady standing next to me was holding a book and a pink towel. My interest piqued shortly after, when I noticed that the book she held in her hand was none other than Fifty Shades of Grey. To be more precise, Geheimes Verlangen, the German translation of the book, which led me to assume that she was German herself. I could also see that she had recently started reading it, as she was still only a couple of chapters or so into the book. Another small observation I made was that she didn’t use a bookmark. She just opened the book up, and leafed through the pages until she got to where she had last left off. I find myself intrigued whenever I see a person reading one of the novels from this trilogy, as it always raises the same bunch of questions in my head; are they simply reading it for fun? Or is there another reason, perhaps? Do they picture themselves instead of the submissive Anastasia Steele, being with the heartthrob dominant Christian Grey? Or is it the other way around? Do they see themselves as being the dominant one? Do they find any of the explicit sex scenes mentioned in the book pleasurable? Do they fantasise about it? Right, OK, I’ll stop there, as I’m beginning to sound like a mini Freud. 😜

– Preston Carbonaro