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My Flight

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 10 October 2007 | Views [283]

"Roasted cashews sir?" enquired my attendent, clearly a male model masqerading as a airline steward.  More bloody nuts I thought as I surveyed the carnage of "empties" quickly accumulating around me and my Malaysian neighbour, Snuffles (aptly named due to a bothersome sinus condition obviously aggravated by airline travel).  What is this? Five packs already? My cheeks barely dry from teary departure lounge kisses  (it had seemed like only moments ago I was enroute to Perth International, cueing up a Dido rendition of Janis Joplin's classic Leavin' On A Jet Plane to spark some sort of emotive scene from my steely faced family members; clearly this break would do them good) big corporation conspiracy perhaps..."Give the fools their cashews, they'll gorge-down their own weight in nuts, leaving little room for their Shrimp Salad, Poached Shark-Lips and Cos Cos" What the hell I thought, knocking the top off yet another bag. 

Snuffles, I quickly learned was a construction engineer who flew Business frequently, much of our discussion that day has now been consigned to the recycle bin of my seive-like memory, I do for some reason remember discussing with him the trouble one has finding adequate workers in the market place at the moment and me all-the-while nodding sympathetically to my fellow titan of industry....oi Snuffy where are those brandy and cigars we ordered? 

Flying Business Class held many charms, one though I felt outshone them all; more addictive then the mountain of comlimentary nuts, more intoxicating then the countless tiny glasses of champagne, more relaxing then movies on demand.....Guilt-free reclining, oh yes this in itself is almost worth that exorbetent price tag.  The ability to ease back into your personal fibreglass cocoon, with piece of mind that separating your head from the crotch of the unfortunate soul behind you is more then merely 2 inches of headrest.  

My connection from Singapore to London was much the same, with the usual Business fair on offer, with one exception.  British Airways in all their wisdom boasted an "innovative seating configuration" whereby the seats face each other but in such a way the the other person face is probably no more than a couple feet away, less than ideal for a 12 hr long haul flight. Your one salvation, a pitted glass screen, that at the push of a button provides a frosty veil of privacy. 

Soon after being seated it was pretty clear the once chatty demenor amongst my fellow passengers had all but melted away in the face of yet another 12 hours in the air.  My mid-air companion was no-longer, that chatty, inquisative congested little man I had now come to miss, but a stoney faced westerner whose conversation for the entire flight within 30 seconds of being seated...."hmm this is weird".  We both sensed what had to be done, that petition had to go up, but neither of us it would seem had the nerve to make the move.  I like any self-respecting man waited until old-mate had fallen to sleep and then after a few tense moments working out how the damn thing worked put up the screen.

The proceeding 12 hours remain for me a blur of hot facial towelles, the opening 20mins and final 5mins of several movies and numerous trips to the poorly ventilated and none-too-spacious airliner latrines.  And before you could say Deep-Vein-Thrombosis I was being directed to "stow-away my tray and hand luggage and return my seat to it's upright position" for we were making our final decent into London.





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