I’ve still not worked this one out and neither has Matt, who I was travelling with.
So, I’m ‘enjoying’ a Ukraine Airlines B737, wedged into the middle of three seats between Matt (who sat nicely) and a wriggling young man who seemed unable to sit still for more than two minutes. UIA are a bit low on frills so once I was in my seat, I wasn’t moving anywhere and that’s simply because I couldn’t. What that did mean, as with any bargain bucket airline, is that I kept my seat belt on, even though Captain Yuri had switched the light off.
Finally, though, wriggling man succumbed to the urge visit the toilet and I had to uncoil my legs, remove the seat belt and contort myself into the shape of a human to stand in the aisle and awaiting my fellow passenger’s return.
Eventually my neighbour returned and I folded my legs back up and slithered into my seat. Conscious that we were only a few hundred miles from Kiev, I decided to put my seatbelt back on so fumbled for the male and female parts and pulled them together. Except I couldn’t. There was a gap of at least six inches. So, I assumed that somehow one side had recoiled so wrestled with my wedged frame to try and dig the errant belt out, but no. By now both Matt and wriggling man were getting involved, assuming that we had got our belts crossed over, playing a game of ‘that’s your belt’ until we realised that no, the stumpy belt was indeed mine.
Conscious that we’d started our descent I tugged and tugged to get the two parts together. Did I call the steward and explain that my waist line had expanded by six inches during the flight? Did I pretend it was secured? Did I pull it tight and hope that my circulation survived long enough in my lower body?
To much much hilarity, I decided that the only option was a huge deep breath, pull the buckle in tight and hope. Luckily I had as Captain Yuri thumped the plane on the ground and bounced it down the runway. My legs were slowly turning blue and beyond as we turned towards the terminal and I felt confident enough to the remove the buckle from the depths of my small intestine.
For the record I hadn’t gained that much weight (some may beg to differ) but none of us could work out why the belt had so dramatically shortened…