Sunday, 29 November 2009

The effects of Schadefreude

Because I am prone to accidents and mishaps, I often get a, albeit brief, feeling of panic when I am about to do something out of the ordinary. I travel quite a lot, and since I am born in communinst Czechoslovakia have a liberal view on smuggling, but since the alcohole laws in Sweden changed have not smuggled anything. Yet, every time I am at the airport, at any airport, and am passing through the green line in customs, I cannot help thinking-what if they search me and they find something? And I try to look as innoncent as I can, and either smile at the custom officers, or avoid eye contact, in short what ever strategy I have just then decided would be the best one.

I am also afraid of mixing up time of important meetings, taking wrong meeting rooms etc etc. Until now I have never been afraid to go to the wrong airport though. In fact, it never even occured to me. So, imagine my surprise, when I, last time I was in Sweden, witnessed a couple having a huge fight because they have done just that. They had crossed the entire Stockholm going south west, to Bromma, when they should have crossed and gone north west to Arlanda. They had just realised their mistake and were furious with each other, as both claimed it was the other one´s fault. I tried not to eavesdrop, but by the state of them am fairly sure that they have filed for divorce by now.

So, there I am, Monday morning, happy about a mistake I haven´t done yet, and since there weren´t any free seats, I waited for the boarding standing by the exit. I was second in line, after a obviously very important and busy businessman. He was juggling betweens texting and calling on his Blackberry and was the image of a busy bee and, needless to say, very very obnoxious and annoying. When the stewardess had checked his boarding pass he took off with zeal of his own, and you can imagine my surprise, not to mention his, when the opening he strode through, turned out to be glass. The bang made the entire terminal freeze. If he hadn´t been so pompous, I might have felt sorry for him, especially when I saw that he had made an imprint on the glass, where especially his left nostril was clearly visible, but he had been so full of himself that my schadefreude simply flourished. I giggled all the way to the airplane, and noticed only when I was just about to climb the stairs into the aircraft that this was, in fact, wrong plane. I had been so fuelled that I passed my plane and tried to board one that was going to Kiruna instead of Ã…rhus. So, boarding the wrong plane is a new worry of mine.

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