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How to Avoid Conversation on a Plane, and the Day Darrel Bristow-Bovey Broke His Rules of Non-engagement

One Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoIf there’s one thing Darrel Bristow-Bovey tries to avoid at all costs it’s interactions with people on long-distance international flights.

In an article for Traveller24, the columnist and author of One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo shares his tips for avoiding conversation – from pretending to sleep to faking symptoms of hard-drug withdrawal or a contagious disease.

That is, until Bristow-Bovey met a person who intrigued him so, he not only threw all his rules out the window, he initiated the conversation.

Read the article:

I didn’t know what to do. Avoiding interaction on international flights is the one sure thing in life I know to be wise and true. And she obviously wasn’t looking for interaction either. The best thing, I told myself, is to breathe deep and try to sleep. But I couldn’t. We may be passengers on a plane in economy class, but we’re still human beings. You can’t just sit next to someone in pain and pretend you don’t see it.

I lifted my mask and asked, “Are you okay?”

She was startled and a little embarrassed. She didn’t reply but I offered her a napkin and she took it and said thank you. I asked her again and after a while she started speaking in a low, steady, very matter-of-fact voice. She didn’t try to make the story better or worse, pretend that she was all right.

She just told her story.

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