Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, September 29, 2008

Life at the pointy end

This is a photograph of what a passenger in business class looks like after ten hours in the air. There’s a certain lack of actual stress evident, even though she’s clearly sitting in the old style seat that was a relic from the days of steam rather than one of the more modern capsules for passenger comfort. I suspect the frequently filled glasses and canapes to order more than made up for any actual discomfort, not that there was any felt, unless of course one fell asleep and woke with an imprint of one’s pearls on one’s chin.

This stylish travel experience is in rather stark contrast to the earliest experience of the youngest of our offspring, who the observant will note, was the subject of a wry comment or two after the last post. (That is to say the most recent post on this blog and not to be confused with the soulful bugle tune popularised at dawn on ANZAC day.)

When our youngest bobbed onto the scene, we determined that our scruffy hoard had grown to the extent that as our progeny now outnumbered the number of hands we had available after each carrying a bag of life’s necessities, our former world girdling ways could be quite hampered, so we contented ourselves with nautical pursuits for many years.

More years than we realised apparently, as the youngest was well into her teens and to be fair to her, she had even learned which way was up on a fish shop ticket, by the first time she saw the inside of a commercial aircraft.

Many people will know that aircraft are usually boarded at what is euphemistically known as “the pointy end” and although that name is a complete misnomer, most understand that on boarding a plane one first must tip toe through the velvet lounges which are the first and business class seats, before reaching somewhat lesser standards of space and comfort which seem to diminish in direct proportion to the distance from the cockpit.

She apparently didn’t count among that number.

On entering the metal tube, thrust as she was into those sumptuous surrounds she made a quick mental count of the seating arrangements, and quite publicly expressed her disappointment in noting that the seats were so big and so far apart that they wouldn’t be able to sit together, her mother her sister and she.

Fortunately her disappointment was very short lived, lasting bout as long as it takes to get to the very last row in an aircraft. Where the toilet is usually located.

The real pointy end. The seat was so far back in the aircraft, they were ushered to assume the emergency brace position just so they’d be able to sit in their seats without bumping their heads.

The reality of international travel was about to hit home.

At the other end of the travel naivity scale, her eldest sister but one, as a somewhat world weary four year old some years before had joined her kindy group on a tour of an airport, during which the tiny horde was shepherded to all corners of an aircraft, and even served light refreshments while seated in the passenger positions on board.

While her parents were trying to elicit news of the days adventure later in the evening, and wondering why it seemed all so underwhelming, she simply rolled her eyes and replied “We didn’t even go anywhere.”
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