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Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Third Biggest Fear

My biggest fears are:

1) Losing loved ones
2) Cockroaches
3) Flying

I am sure everyone can relate to #1. 

If you can't relate to #2, then there is something seriously wrong with you. Cockroaches are terrifying. And for some reason they always run towards you, not away from you. Ugh just typing that C word is making me feel prickly all over.

But today, I wanna talk about #3. My fear of flying.

I don't really have a problem with take off or landing. I am a nervous wreck when there's turbulence. Trust me, you do not want to sit next to me on the plane. Nadri has permanent scars on his arms from me digging my nails into his flesh whenever there is even the slightest turbulence.

My pilot clients have told me that turbulence is normal. It's just like when we're driving and we hit a pothole or the road is not smooth, so the car bumps a little. No biggie. Yeah well, at least when we're driving we're touching the ground. It's so not the same as flying because we're hanging (HANGING!!!!) in the sky.
I still remember my worst flight, which was with Saudi Air, on my way back from Umrah. It was so crazy rocky I literally cried. I recited the Quran and the selawat (prayers for our Prophet p.b.u.h) the whole way. When we landed I almost kissed the ground. I refused to fly after that. Took me one and a half years to get on another plane.

I guess the fact that I am a control freak and that I am scared of heights are the reasons why I am like this. The anxiety attack that I would get is so bad that whenever I go on long haul flights, I would take cough or flu medicine just so that I would sleep through.

Three days ago, we took a flight to Nadri's dad's hometown, Kelantan. And yesterday, we landed back here. Usually when we go back there during Raya we would drive because the journey from Kota Bharu airport to Jeli takes a few hours anyway (longer during the festive seasons), but since we were rushing this time and we figured the traffic to Jeli would be smooth, we flew in and rented a car.

I haven't flown domestic in the longest time. I forgot how small the planes are so these short trips.

(Smaller planes  =  More turbulence  =  Me peeing in my pants)

As if the flight to Kelantan (with MAS) was not terrifying enough, our flight back was with Firefly. Imagine my horror when I saw that the plane has propellers instead of the usual jet engines.

For some reason, I feel more secure when it's the jet engine.

My anxiety level was obviously higher due to the propeller issue. Because of this, the 1 hour flight felt like forever. And the fact that Alayna and Nadri dozed off to sleep before the plane took off didn't help either.

It was just me, the plane and my overworked mind.

Every single sound, every single bump made my heart stop. I would then steal glances at the cabin crews to see if they look worried, which would indicate that the sound that I heard or the bump that I felt was something out of the ordinary. But no, the crews always look so poised and calm. And somehow, that doesn't give me assurance at all.

Then things got pretty rocky as we were going through the thick clouds. The plane took a few dips which caused a pit in my stomach. I started praying and reciting some Surahs. When that was over and we were cruising smoothly, I noticed that the seat belt light was still on. And that just bugged the hell out of me. A million things went trough my mind.

Why wouldn't the pilot switch of the light? 

Is there something wrong that the pilot is not telling us? 

Why hasn't he made the routine announcement to tell us about the progress of the flight, what the weather is like and how he wants us to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight? 

Oh god something IS wrong.

I kept staring at the seat belt sign, going crazier by the minute.  After what seemed like forever, the light was finally turned off. And the routine announcement was made by the co-pilot.

I calmed down a little after that, but not for long. As we were slowly descending, an old man wearing the pilot hat and a white shirt with a vest started to make way down the aisle to the back of the plane. He was going to the toilet.

Are you kidding me? The captain (he's old so he has to be the captain) decides to choose this crucial time to go pee?? He's leaving us at the mercy of his co-pilot (who by the way sounded SIXTEEN when he made the announcement earlier)???

My mind went wild again. I kept turning around to see if the captain was done. What was taking him so long anyway? Now is not the time to get diarrhoea.

(OK but now that I think of it, I don't think that the guy was the captain at all. In fact, I am now pretty sure that he wasn't even wearing the pilot hat. He was wearing a baseball hat. And besides, it's kinda silly to think that the pilots have to go all the way to the back of the plane to use the toilet. I'm sure they have their own private one or something. But you know how it is. When you're paranoid sometimes you start seeing things)

After the 'captain' has gone back to the front, there was an announcement saying that we were going to land shortly and that all electronic devices have to be switched off.

I felt the plane descending and I gripped Nadri's arm even harder (he's still sleeping) and braced myself for possible turbulences.

And then I swear to God I heard an incoming text message beep.

I was livid. Either the stupid idiot switched on his goddamn phone or he never even bothered to switch it off in the first place. I tried to wake Nadri up because I was so scared. But he barely opened his eyes and mumbled "I need to go to the carwash to get my hair cut."

I was too petrified to laugh. So I just closed my eyes and said my prayers.

Alhamdulillah, God decided to spare me from more torture and willed for the landing to be super smooth. I practically ran out once we were allowed to leave the aircraft. 

Sorry Alayna, Mommy needs a few minutes to calm down.

Looks like the Bali trip that we've been planning is not going to happen. I don't think I can get on a plane anytime soon.


  1. I'm terrified of flights as well.. I seriously hate flying with Firefly... There was once we went through thick rain clouds... It was almost 8pm... I still remember there was lightning in the clouds and the plane is shaking like nobody's business... My life was actually flashing in front of my eyes... Terrible...

    1. Ok I am scared now to go on a plane in a few dayssss T_T

  2. Sorry Tia for laughing... Pfftt~~ But you really are so cute. I could only imagine how petrified you were and I never thought in my wildest dream that you're afraid of flights. I thought that you were a frequent flyer and always going to places and stuff. By the way, that firefly airplane...... looked really scary. I never knew there are still planes for commercial that uses propeller to fly.

    p/s: Alaynaaa comelll sangaatttt~~ mesti dia tengah bebel dekat mommy dia.

  3. once you're caught in a bad turbulence you'll be scared for life. just like me!