Lessons Learned the Hard Way – No. 45

30 06 2008


Never get dressed in the dark


I do not consider myself to be a dandy or a slave to fashion, but I do generally take an interest in my appearance and at the very least like things to match. This is particularly true when flying. My practicality prevents me from completely sacrificing comfort for sartorial elegance, but I do believe it is important to look respectable especially when presenting oneself to immigration authorities.


During a series of flights to Malaysia that had me flying via New York and Dubai in one very long day, I had taken great care in selecting my wardrobe. I wanted apparel that would not only be comfortable for my 28 hours of non-stop travelling, but would also provide me with some degree of presentability for my examination by various security and immigration officials enroute.


Very early that morning, I got dressed, tip-toed out of my home and headed off on the journey that would entail two taxis, four airports, one train, four countries and countless time zones before I’d arrive at my next bed. I checked in at the airport, cleared security and boarded my first flight. Shortly after take-off I kicked-off my shoes to enhance comfort. I bent down to tuck them safely under the seat in front of me and recoiled in abject horror.


My socks didn’t match. One was blue and the other black. I was to travel some 10,606 miles with odd socks. I was mortified. Everyone in the aircraft was staring at my fashion faux pas. The flight attendants were muttering behind cupped hands. Other passengers were moving away from me. Would the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia even allow such a visual disgrace to set foot in their countries?  


Upon arrival at my hotel at the end of my odyssey, I discovered that my unspeakable blunder was actually twice as bad as I had at first imagined, for, in my luggage, I found a second identical pair!


Post by: Simon Vaughan © 2008



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