On the flight from NY to Berlin, a German man sat next to me. He was flustered and erratic, unsuccessfully trying to jam his carry-on upright under the seat in front of him.
I couldn’t understand all the fidgeting and drama until several minutes later he emitted a fart that smelled like beef brisket.
Relaxing now, he became conversational. When I began eating an unchicken salad sandwich I had bought at the health food store, he said “bon appetite.”
He asked me if I spoke German and I replied “eine bischen” or “a little.” He proceeded to tell me about his travels in broken English and German. I was thinking it would be a good chance for me to practice my German while in reality it was a good opportunity for him to practice his English.
Because my German is so horrible I was often confused about what exactly he was talking about. Either his wife was having an affair with a 19-year-old doctor or his 19-year-old daughter was not talking to him. He told another story about looking over his wife’s shoulder while she was on the computer and seeing “jiggling titties” this I got from a vivid hand gesture. He was also pointed to his head to express that something was wrong with her in the head, explaining that “for a man it is normal but for a woman”, another point to the head. “Anyway, now she has boyfriend,” he said.
Then he dug through his briefcase to find a layout of the condominium his sister resides at in Sarasota Florida. He showed me the golf course and the location of the beach and the pools. I asked, “Where are the alligators?” and he pointed to a large pond to the north. Then he showed me a picture of him, his sister, his (possibly) ex-wife and his daughter (who did look pissed), standing in the parking lot of an Applebee’s.
The stewardesses turned out the lights on the plane and I tried desperately to go to sleep. I was next to the window and sometimes I peeked at the mute movie playing, something with Luke Wilson, while leaving my eye closest to him closed.
After about four hours they turned on the lights and started serving breakfast while showing a video on how mattresses were made. It seems cruel to wake passengers at 4am and show them a video about beds.
Then the German gave me his banana, that’s not code for anything.