So many people, yet no-one to talk to

SO air travel, people. I'm relieved to say that Mr Brown was happy to see me and made a fuss when I got home late, hungry and tired.

No big dramas, just a six-hour delay, which I was courteously informed of once I got to the airport.

What's with that?

It's impossible to book your flights without surrendering three contact numbers and an email address - but heaven forbid they use any of that information to give you a heads up on a delay or alteration to your travel itinerary.

So I spent six hours checking out the airport talent and pondering the meaning of life.

I came to the conclusion that short shorts are not for everybody.

And just because a man can grow a beard does not mean that he should.

And I have absolutely no self control where Chico babies are concerned.

When finally we boarded I was in a pretty good place (and out of Chico babies) and I noticed one thing.

People not talking to people. Awkward.

People boarding and finding their seats shuffling, juggling and stuffing bags and belongings, bumping bums and elbows, then sitting down next to complete strangers without making eye contact or saying boo. Wow.

As I became aware of it I noticed that everyone was doing it. Even the guy sitting next to me.

Me, a famous journalist - well, I write this little bit for the local rag.

I looked at him as he settled in and our (both broad) shoulders touched.

I was thinking it was polite or friendly to just smile and maybe offer a "hello" to my new shoulder warmer, but I just stared at the side of his head while he got his phone out and started to immerse himself in it, feeling a little bit like a stalker.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick up or make a new friend for dinner parties.

In fact I'm not even seeking an entire conversation.

I just want some good, old-fashioned friendly interaction as I go about my everyday business.

I concluded as I sat there, looking at empty faces, that these mandatory mundane moments could be made slightly pleasurable, or maybe the word is 'lighter', given more eye contact and the odd friendly flashing of teeth.

It's a simple concept.

This column is featured in APN's Weekend Magazine. Don't miss your weekend lift-out each Saturday 


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