Friday, July 13, 2012

in the meantime

in the meantime nigh on 15 years have passed and I am 52, seasoned, weary and still travelling. Middle East now, Africa and the deserts of Dubai are the new haunting grounds. Email has taken over fax, mobiles and sms are my life, and the speed is on.

Gone are the days of casual travel, suits and ties, stopovers, business lunches and the like.

Now I am a secretary, a word processor,  an excel sheet manipulator, PBIT charged exec, armed with I-Phone, I-Pad, I-Plane, and a ton of useless ballast which I am supposed to need but never do...

Although "up the air" God bless him..taught me the final touches needed to cut the hand-, and may I say only luggage, down to 7kg....even the laptop weighs under a loaf of bread. Slip on shoes, quick release belts, min. size wash kit, and less metal than a piece of tinsel, and I am through the security like....greased....ah! no... there is always one isn´t there.

Millions of miles and the corresponding "lovely Jubly...would you like to rib my tits Amex/Visa card combination" means I can while away my preceeding hours/minutes before a flight in the sound knowledge that within these hallowed walls of the "lounge" I am distinctly separate from the great unwashed...

That is of course...until I get to that totally unecessary final security check before the gate. All those who entered the airport, no even planned their trip and dared to read the fine print about, metal, drinks, watches, shoes, laptops,glasses, and anything that looks like causing a Deltaforce Agent to have a hiccup, has decided NOW, 30 feet from the plane to festoon his body with such like items.

Agonisingly slow, we watch the mini drama´s of the loss of ..yes 101ml of Down the Canal N°5 BEING CONFISCATED....tears of agongy, but why, its half empty....(its the container size not the contents etc. etc.)...oh god!...

Finally after gay gordon has felt my balls, I am allowed to proceed to sanctuary, thats is if I am flying Emirates ! Heaven between the real one and earth, or stalag 42 if Lufthansa and all those in between who mean well but! sigh!...

Once cushioned, separated by a serge curtain, dark in colour I can slip into my travel mode.

Check the reds, the films, and the service in that order! All entertaining but serious if I am to enjoy the next 6-9 hrs. You know the menu, its either or or both of a combination of fish, chicken and meat, mostly Halal, ..wont see a bacon rasher for miles...nicely disguised using either french names for fry, grill or cook, and decorated to look like a spilled packet of liquorice allsorts.

Mildly amused I watch the pillow takers...there are three types, the business class knows all he has to do is ask..and he shall be given (unless in LH where you will be curtely told that she has other things to do such as kick start the plane...and will bring you one later ..if she doesent forget..or have to change the oil in the hydraulics..)...
those lucky enough, rich enough or clever enough (see "How to get an upgrade") to be FIRST CLASS, well they only have to imagine the sublime pleasure of an extra pillow and  a mild mannered, delightfully sweet, attractive, nymph, impeccably dressed slides a down filled, silk covered cloud under your head, patting it for good measure.(it has been known on some airlines to be accompanied by the final kiss a lover gives before turning to sleep a contented sleep.)

and then there is the crafty, swifty smooth FREQUENT FLYER...who knows..yes he is aislewise.. a mover, dodger and diver, W.N.A.D online booking specialist.
(Window at Night, Aisle on DAY flights), guaranteed sleep at night, no incontinent disturbances, and first off the flight during the day, albeit slightly more difficult if settled over the wings, equi-distant to both front and back doors.

.....he knows he needs those three extra mini cushions plus the one on his seat. Left and right hip (bloody buckles), and one to cut out that incessant downward blizzard from the A/C. So deftly slipping past the ticket checker (the fouth by now) who tries to push 400 people into a tube corridor, with no A/C to wait a miserable final twenty minutes, whilst others are being seated, traversing back UP the aisle with a monster bag, because he cannot count and has missed 21 D...oh by the way, the alphabet has been the same since the bloody thing was written  in 4000 BC in Byblos Lebanon, so yes its..... ABCDEFG across the plane, in that order!

the FF has sussed that one years ago! off he shoots through the business class tube..the bolder, and older use the FC route, knicking whatever glossies they can en-route, or those fantastic night bags, which would make an Elisabeth Arden shop look peeky!..and grabs the soft fluffies on his way through!....finally enjoying the shocked look of the GUW , with whom he is forced to stay these meagre hours because of a new ruling ..under three hours flights no business..the shame of he settles into his body cut slim line non -reclining seat , as he is not going to get the free red, and irish slumber water anyway, he can conceed on trying the glut attached to a plastic plate , washed down with plastic liquids aptly named orange juice or coffee..for a well earned few hours of shut eye....before we all reach our next airport destination to enjoy the pleasures of ARIVALS and CUSTOMS.

next to obtain an upgrade.....!!!

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