Planes, Long Hauls and Toilets

My husband and I are getting older now.  And as such, it is rare that we can go through a single night, either of us, without getting up at least once to use the toilet.  Calling it what it is, just one of those things that happens as you get older and we’re both well into our 60’s – well, me a lot more so than him.  Unfortunately, I have just realized recently that my bathroom habits are much more regular at night than they are during the day.  It’s 11:30, 2:30 and 4:30.  Yes,  TMI!!!  Makes it a bit difficult with the cats sleeping with us as I believe my habits have now taught my lovely “sweet baboo” Siamese that she must also get up at 4:30 and she now apparently believes that it is then time for me to stay awake and feed her.  As a result, she usually gets banished from the bedroom at 4:30.   That aside, I can say that it’s not totally written in stone – yet.  Some nights are better than others and sleep is more consistent without interruptions but those nights are becoming further and further apart.

Recently my husband and I had a diving trip in Mauritius.  What a lovely trip and you can read about it and see my photos in my blog “Diving in Mauritius – and Other Stuff”.  Getting there is what is referred to in the airlines industry as a “long haul flight”.  From London Gatwick to Mauritius, it is 11 to 12 hours and 12 to 13 hours on the way back.  Luckily for us, they start both ways in the evening so you can try and sleep for most of the flight.  As we left Mauritius for the return at 11:35 P.M., the first thing I did once in the air was recline my seat and lights out to sleep.  Didn’t even care about getting any food at that point.

What is it about airplanes that makes one want to go to the bathroom???  Is it the steady drone, the rocking/bouncing/lulling motion (hopefully without turbulence), the lighting/the heating, the soft murmur of voices (hopefully no kids talking loudly or crying), or something else entirely?  I just realized on this flight that something makes me need to get up and head for the tiny closet that passes for a toilet even more than is usual for my nightly habits.  From the time I closed my eyes at approximately midnight until the lights were switched back on for breakfast, I woke up and headed to the bathroom no less than 7 times!!!  And after breakfast, I went to the toilet an additional two times although I do admit that the last time was just because they said it would be our last time as the toilets would be locked for landing soon.

So 9 times in 12 1/2 hours!  AND this is all without drinking anything past 10:30 P.M. when I had a diet coke in the airport.  How absurd is all of that!?  As I was thinking about it as I climbed over my fellow passengers feet once again, i realized that being in a plane makes me want to pee almost constantly it seems.  I have never been on a flight, even a short 40 minute flight, where I have not felt the need to use the toilet.  Yes, once again TMI but there it is, out there for everyone to ponder.  I would certainly be interested in knowing if there is a study on this.  I’m sure there is as governments and some people have way too much time and money on their hands and will spend it on foolish experiments and studies like “Toilet Usage on Planes – Long Haul versus Short” or some such type of title.

Anyway, for now, we are lucky enough to be travelling in business class on these flights but that will change once we are retired.  Then what?  Nowadays some planes are announcing that you cannot stand in the aisles while waiting to use the bathroom.  I can foresee a time when I am booking seats right next to the toilets so that the minute it is open, I can jump up and run into it.  It’s gonna be that or – horrors –  dare I say it –  the adult version of diapers.  OMG.  please NO!!!!


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