An American in Europe

Vasi Best
July 28, 2016

Crank! The airplane seat behind me screeches back. Like, all the way back. All of a sudden, my TV, aptly enough, playing old reruns of Curb Your Enthusiasm (Bum, Bum, Bum) becomes full screen and in my face. Big sigh. Especially since this wasn’t a normal airplane. Usually on the really cheap ones, the seat doesn’t go back that far, and if the person on front of you feels the need to lean alllllll the way back, I can deal. This was one of those fancy airplanes. I had actually been enjoying it too. For some reason, my ticket got switched on the way home from Berlin and I ended up in London for a layover. Free wine, and not terrible food. And they had some good TV shows and movies too. But I don’t know why they even made seats that go this far back! My knees were instantly trapped between the seats, up, like I was squatting.

I don’t know about how everyone else was raised, but I was definitely told as child, on an airplane, to 1) never kick the seat in front of you, and 2) never to lean your seat all the way back. It’s literally just common courtesy. And maybe, if they do, for a short 30 minute nap. So, since this lady in front of me decided that rules weren’t existing on this flight, I played even and proceeded to kick my knees around and push back. If this lady wanted her seat back, she would have to deal with it.

Oddly enough, at this point in time, a scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm comes up where the main character, Larry David, is fighting with a woman on a plane. Now this is not my proudest point, but I really relate with Larry David. He’s a stickler for the rules. He, like me, doesn’t understand why people think they can just bend them all the time. Taking up two parking spaces, stopping at the bottom of stairs, little things like this really add up. Especially because it’s just not that hard to not to do them. To be aware. Larry, unlike me, knows how to speak his mind. He tells people when they’re taking advantage of him.

Now here is where I tie this in culturally. Honestly, Americans are probably the worst at things like this. We are very much raised in a laid-back, anything goes type households. This bleeds into almost everything, especially when it come to travel. You can always spot the American in the restaurant, the person obliviously shouting, or insulted because the waitress has been taking a while. And it’s not their fault! We’re raised that way, we don’t know any better. But there comes a level of courtesy, when you’re in someone else’s space. (Knees count.)

I feel better, taking a note from Larry David. The poor man behind me must be at least six feet, and there is no way I”m going to lean my chair back into him. And I’m not the one getting the short end of this stick, getting taking advantage of. I’m literally this close to paying for inflight WiFi so I can google ways to annoy the person in front of you on a plane.

Just think about other people around you for once. Don’t be the American in Europe.

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Vasi Best

<p>Hi! I&#39;m Veronica, and I&#39;m a communications/creative writing major from the University of Southern California. I love comedy, writing, and meeting new people! I&#39;m a self-identified cat person, yet love dogs too.</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
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University of Southern California
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