Rob Golledge takes a look at the sometimes necessary ways to blend into a crowd in his latest ‘ramblings’ taken from the Amadeus Industry Eye customer newsletter. ————————————————————————– When might it be better to blend in with the crowd than to stand out? When hiding from the paparazzi (as you do). And when the flight attendant is looking for people to move seats for the octogenarian lovebirds who couldn’t possibly sit apart.
What she doesn’t realise is how her seemingly innocuous request lays waste to all your best laid plans. How you got up in the middle of the night to check-in using the airline website exactly at T minus 24 hours to nab your preferred seat. Or worse, if travelling ‘no-frills’ how you had to start queuing at the airport days before your not-so-cheap-and-hardly-ever-cheerful flight departed. You might also want to blend in if you find yourself in a crowd of Millwall football club supporters, but that’s another story.
Blending in while travelling can be both reassuring and slightly alarming. I like how I can travel to Scandinavia and people assume I’m a local. But when they start talking to me like the Swedish chef in the Muppets, I’m lost. Travel to warmer climes and most people know from my lobster-like appearance that I’m not from their neighbourhood. I don’t like advertising that I’m a tourist, but if you can’t blend in, you might as well wear a neon sign from Vegas.
For some people, blending in is easy. If you happen to be pint-sized Tom Cruise, all you need do is jump down from the step ladder the PR company got for you to stand on (especially when having to look your leading lady in the eye). Hey presto, he’s vanished.
One website offered this advice, “Dress so you don’t stand out. Normally this means dressing plainly.” This is especially true if you’re attending an Amish barn raising. Rather bizarrely, the website added, “Sometimes you may need to dress up like a zombie to blend in with a crowd.” Hmm… I think I’ll stay clear of that neighbourhood.
For the master of blending in, we could all take lessons from the amazing Chinese artist Liu Bolin. He’s the closest thing to an invisible man you’ll never see.