Sunday, April 18, 2010

Get hip to that kind of trip

The daily commuter flight from Joburg to Cape Town departs at 6am every day. We call it the 4.30 Special, because that’s when you need to wake up, if you want any chance of making your flight.
If you’re neurotic, you’ll probably be safer setting that alarm for 3.57am. After that, by the time you’ve screamed down the R21 to OR, parked in the super South long-term parking facility, taken the shuttle bus to the terminal, checked in and boarded your flight, you’ll be in a peculiar psychological state.
Somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, you might find yourself slumped in an aisle seat, defiantly ignoring the cabin attendant as he runs through what you’re supposed to do in the case of us crashing into the sea.
Emergency exits are positioned at the front and rear of the aircraft… In the case of emergency, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling... Pull on your life jacket. Do not inflate it until you’re out of the aircraft... Fit your own mask before helping children or others who need help.
And, oh yes, the cabin staff. I find female cabin attendants among the most attractive beings on earth. And the smarter their uniforms the better. My favourites are the SAA ladies, with their navy skirt suits. Mango aren’t bad either. Those ladies go with the tight, pin-striped trousers. Virgin Atlantic is all about scarlet skirts and blazers, another highlight, especially as worn by up-for-it Brits who’re definitely going for drinks together the minute they check into the Sandton Sun.
So cabin attendants are sexy. Stewardesses, as they were. And my favourite part, I realise, as I alternately try get into my Koos Kombuis book, and fall asleep for a woozy minute, my favourite part, is when you’ve got an aisle seat, and they brush past you.
Their hips brush past you. Their hips on your shoulder as they bustle down the aisle to fetch another little bottle of Johnny Red for the guy in 26C. Proud, curvaceous black woman’s hips swing-swanging, Swing-swanging, swish-swish-swish down the shoulders of the aisle.
If they’re still aware of it, it doesn’t show. Their hips brush up against the passengers, they pretend not to notice and us, we pretend not to notice either.
You can brush up against black women’s hips in lifts, on buses, in doorways, in queues at the movies… and it’s always just so. It is what it is. We live in confined spaces, and sometimes we brush up against each other.
There’s never a “sorry” or an “excuse me” about it. Black women’s hips are a fact of life, and on the 4.30 Special, as they brush past your left shoulder while you hover between reality and dreamland, they make life a little sexier and a little more worth living.
Except that last time, just now. That last one was the dude cabin attendant.

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