A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holiday, by Tim Roxborogh.
Humans are strange creatures. For the most part, if we are walking down the street or we're somewhere like a supermarket, we are understanding if someone cuts us off or bumps into us. As is well known though, put those same normally calm humans behind the wheel of a car and the bizarre psychology of road rage is there for all to see. You're hardly likely to yell expletives and do the finger at someone who accidentally knocks your supermarket trolley, but if that same person was a little slow taking off at the lights? "You f***ing c***!"
None of this is any sort of keen observation on the oddities of human behaviour on my part. Everyone knows there's (generally) a politeness away from the car and a mild insanity inside of it. What's less talked about is what I believe to be a near mirroring of bonkers car behaviour by car-less humans when disembarking from planes.
If you've flown, you will have been in this situation. The plane has landed and is fully stopped and with the seat belt sign off. Everyone is well and truly unclicked, the doors have opened and the line of passengers has started to move. The only problem is, you haven't yet made it out into the aisle and you still have to grab your overhead luggage while juggling whatever book or handbag is in your other hand. And nobody lets you in.
Nobody lets you in because they know you're not just jumping out into the aisle, but you're also going to bring the whole line to a halt while you fumble around for the luggage. The process is made even more awkward by not being able to completely stand upright while you're picking your moment, like a sharpshooter ready to pull the trigger, when you spot a brief opening.
All of this is pretty bonkers on behalf of us as a species. We've all walked down plane aisles and seen the people who have raised hands in defeat and are sitting until the aircraft is pretty much empty before they even attempt standing up. We look at them and think, "I wonder what's wrong with them? What are they waiting for?"
What they're waiting for is humanity to realise it's not the end of the world if someone stops the line for five seconds to stand up, reach into the overhead compartments, take their bags and go ahead of you! After all, the wait at the airport baggage area is the great equaliser for the bulk of travellers (who don't have priority luggage stickers), no matter how many people you refuse to let in the queue.
The toilet paper triangle
Truth be told, I love the toilet paper triangle. This is the little fold at the tip of a roll of toilet paper that does more than anything else to differentiate a plain old house bathroom from a fancy five-star hotel bathroom.
Sure the marble, the lighting, the stand-alone bathtub, the his and hers vanities and the lack of mould are also indicators of hotel bathroom vs house bathroom, but the toilet paper triangle is the most bang for the hotel industry's buck.
The point being, it costs nothing to fold the tip into a triangle (save for the pay for the cleaner who does it), and yet I believe it has a major, albeit subconscious, positive impact on the guest. The little triangle tells you you're being looked after; that your deeds (or misdeeds) in the bathroom will be taken care of without judgment.
What does annoy me though — especially as someone who's been known to use an above average amount of toilet paper (too much information?) — is when you return to your cleaned hotel room and you've been given a new toilet paper triangle but no new toilet roll! By all means, fold a new tip on the half-used roll, but to do that without placing a new back-up roll (or two) in the vanity is criminal.