Three years in Asia and I have reached a breakthrough! I have finally discovered why people can not leave an airplane in an orderly manner.
The plane has just landed. The seat belt sign goes *ding* and everyone that paid extra for their aisle seat (sic) **POPS** up out of their seat and instantly forms a line equal to rush hour on GA 285 at 5:05pm. Now, the calm, cool “foreigner” (read: sane person) confined to the window seat calmly finishes reading his newspaper and waits the 10 more minutes it will take for the attendants to get the doors open and let the 1st class peeps out.
When the flow begins, Mr. Window rightfully expects to join the queue. HOWEVER, this is not the US. THIS is ASIA and it here it is first come, first served; dog eat dog; I will step on your first born for a cheese sample at Costco and “you ain’t gettin’ in this line”. When this situation arises I usually end up using my massive muscles (sic #2) and power of “the evil stare” to force my way in the line. And you know what? That is the way it goes. Push. Shove. Gnaw. Scratch. and voila you have joined the line.
This boils my blood each time it happens. By Asian logic the poor man in seat 1A (window) should be the last person off the plane because all the aisles go first and as soon as space frees up the windows from back to front can exit. CRAZY!
Now the question to ask is WHY don’t other countries have this problem? The reason: CHURCH! Imagine a wedding (or Sunday Service). The service ends, the pastor leaves, then the bride and groom, then ALL of row 1, then row 2, etc… Should someone remain in row 1, the row 2 people will politely confirm that they have permission to proceed before cutting in. This same behavior often translates to the plane, where it is generally accepted that FULL ROWS in front of you are allowed off first then your row. In Asia, it is accepted that even though you are sitting in row 161k you paid the same amount as everyone else and therefore you ABSOLUTELY MUST get off the plane before Mr. Window in 1A. Rubbish.
The solution is simple. The whole world needs to go to church at least one time to have a crash course in how to make an orderly exit. This way I will not have to introduce Mr. “161k” to Mr. “elbow to the face”