Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fly The Friendly Skies

This is a boring post. Apologies in advance.

I'm leaving for Europe in a couple of weeks and have a few questions. I've never left North America and many of you are travel veterans, so maybe you know things that I do not. Please leave a comment or send me an email if you can help me out.

1) After a recent bad experience, I'm terrified of flying. Can anyone suggest something that'll calm my nerves during the flight? It's a red eye so I'm hoping to get some sleep. I've been warned to steer clear of alcohol because it'll just make me feel ill. Also, as I am allergic to codeine, sleeping pills are a no-no. Suggestions?

2) My birth control pills have ordained that I will be on my period during much of my trip. This would be most inconvenient. How can I fuck with my pills and/or body to prevent this from happening? I know I can skip the placebos and just head onto the next package...but has this actually ever worked for anyone?

3) I need cute shoes that are also comfy enough to walk many miles in. I was told to get ballet flats because they hold up well on the cobblestones and are appropriate for bars. Anyone know where I can get a pair of reasonably priced black ballet flats?

(Now playing: "My Father Moved Through Dooms Of Love", Tigre Benvie)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

skipping the placebos works ok, but you might experience spotting through the month. anyway, it worked for me.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sofi i'm going to paris (and maybe london) in the first week of september! when are you going?

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

i read in some girlie mag (like elle canada, NOT like penthouse) that it's totally okay to skip your period using birth control pills as long as your pills are monophasic - the same amount of hormone in every pill, so it doesn't matter which one you start taking first in the packet. phasic pills are the ones where they're different colours per week, and you have to take them in specific order because each week has a different level of hormone.

5:20 PM  
Blogger anne... said...

you could try some gravol to help knock you out on the plane... it's technically an anti-histamine, so shouldn't have any codeine in it. i've had some success using it as a sleep aid.

as for the shoes, ballet flats seem like they might not have enough support or durability for all the walking you'll be doing. i have a pair of these in silver, and i love them. very comfortable for walking, and can be worn out at night as they are silver. i got mine for $60 or so at a place on victoria, between dundas & shuter.

have a fun trip! :-)

9:01 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

1) Go to the doctor and tell him/her you are a nervous flyer, and they will prescribe you something to gurantee a slap-happy flight. Otherwise, have a beer at Pearson before getting on board. This won't make you sick. Power-drinking at 35000 metres will.

2) I echo the wise words of Mlle Hilary on this.

3) Take sneakers with laces and socks for the daytime. Arch support is key. So is not getting trenchfoot if it's raining. I suggest PF Flyers, Cons, No Sweats, or Adidas for non-joggish varities. Then pack another pair of fold-downable cute shoes for out at night when you won't be hoofing it so much. You will easily have enough room in your bag for two pairs (especially since you will be wearing one one the plane, non?). Cheap and cute = Aldo or Transit. Plus everything is on sale now because it's the end of season.


12:13 PM  
Blogger JTL said...

I've flown to Europe a couple of times on red-eyes, and was really none the worse for wear. The key is to try and rest as much as humanly possible on the plane -- either sleep or just sitting there with your eyes closed and thinking sleepy thoughts will do. Or, heck, I guess you could get some pills, those would work too.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Sofimarko,
the only advice I can give you is in regard to shoes: ballet flats are cute, but they fuck up your feet real bad if you walk great lengths in them. You know the ones I have? They caused a terrible, terrible bloodbath.
I would highly recommend getting something with better arch support. Flats, though fashionable, will hurt you in the long run.
ps. i just got back from Montreal, and a better email is forthcoming. sorry I missed you at miss whibbs!


7:26 PM  
Anonymous Daphna said...

Hi Sofi -

1) For the flight - I'm with Susan on this one. Have a nice relaxing drink (like a Bailey's or tea with brandy or something) before you get on the flight. It won't make you sick, it will chill you out. Also, transatlantic flights are on twin-engine big planes, not winged school buses, so the plane will feel much safer. Finally - watch the crappy movie. If you can't sleep, it's a great time to indulge in whatever junk they're playing. If it costs $5 to watch a movie in the in-seat screen thingy, pay the $5 to be distracted.

2) Birth control - I have heard way more bad stories than good stories about this one. My own experience involved having my period for three straight weeks followed by missing it. It sucked. SUCKED. Technically it is ok to skip your period by taking pills continuously (as in, it won't hurt you) but it doesn't seem to work well.

3) Shoes - ballet flats won't cut it for daytime, but are a great choice for easy-to-pack eveningwear. Check out to see where in Toronto you can buy the clothes, and phone up and see if they are still selling the $14 metallic silver or gold flats. Mine have lasted all summer for $14. Cute for the bar, definitely lacks the support for walking. If you pack runners or hiking shoes from Canada, you will feel like you stick out. Only North Americans walk around Europe in athletic (rather than just street style) sneakers. And Europe is full of gorgeous shoes. I would pack your most comfortable sandals (do you have Birks?) and buy yourself some hot sneakers in Europe - you'll want to buy yourself sneakers anyway, so why carry two pairs around?


8:33 AM  
Blogger Sofi said...

thnx d00dz.

7:16 PM  
Blogger oatmeal cookies said...

I have to suggest Gravol too. Really helpful. Safe too, in fact my doc advised me to take it too. Try to get as much sleep as you can too. That'll make the time er, fly by.

3:56 PM  

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