… the Jet engine.

Yesterday was a day of two flights taking me to Bangkok. I flew Cathay Pacific from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong and then on to Bangkok. I did not mind the route as it was cost effective. As a silver card holder with “one world alliance” I get access to lounges even when in economy. So I had a wonderful set of flights.

I think we take for granted and forget the wonderful gift of the jet age. next to me on one flight was an american sounding man who was in tremendous stress and agitation. he did not speak to me, but before take off he was on the phone quietly stating “I am not happy”, “I have had to make three connections to get to you”. He looked as though he was about to start crying and stated “I am on the tarmac and about to take off…. I will get to you… I will get to you … stop being angry”. I could not help but to wonder what was going through this person’s mind. Was it a family tragedy? Did someone lose their job?. There were deep breaths and exhalations from this gentleman as we were landing in Hong Kong which I believe was his next transfer point. He nervously moved his hands around the frame of the seat-back TV in front of him just as we touched down. Imagine what it was like so many years ago when you had to get to someone on the other side of the world in an emergency. The stress lasting weeks or maybe months … getting the money together … and then making the long expensive journey by sea.

I pounded down a few glasses of champagne in the lounge in HK before my next flight … why does free champagne taste so much better than when you pay for it … mmmm I wonder. These lounges are great because I am not the only one pounding back a few drinks before the next flight. When it’s free we all huddle like a pack of wild birds and squak with glee as we are frantically fed by staff that somehow keep smiling instead of breaking out in a scream. Or is the situation so hilarious to watch that they (the lounge staff) actually are about to break out into a laugh? I have seen this behaviour in Antarctica with penguins by the way… similar noises as well which is a worry.

On my next flight the route was to my final destination of Bangkok but then the jet would continue to fly further to Karachi. There were many Pakistani passengers on board heading home. The gentlemen next to me was from Karachi and he spoke of the love that Pakistani’s have for Sikh poeople. The conversation then moved to how much the Pakistani’s hate the American politicians. Note he never said the American people just the politicians. Then he went on to tell me of how he despised his own government. We spoke of his family and his business as he sold computer components to China. He was the most well groomed and cleanest smelling passenger I have encountered for a while. He must have put on copious amounts of after shave because it smelled like I was sitting near a pine tree forest. I remember from him a huge smile as he said “have a good trip” in broken english just as I left the aircraft.

Now in Bangkok I am ready for the next adventure and looking forward to the “bright lights … bigger city”. Been listening to C lo Green.

Hong Kong Transfer Lounge