Written on the 10.05.2015, enroute to Tokyo Haneda
Current time: 18:15 (+8 GMT)
Heiko and Flight 16L
Chicken or Bef. Yes, Bef. Bef being the phonetic expression of Chinese Beef.
This is another part of long haul flights which continually confuses me: Meals. One hour and 20 minutes previous to this moment, I sat on the flight to Beijing eating breakfast. Yes, breakfast at 16:00 or was it 08:00? The fatigue now setting in makes this whole time business all rather perplexing.
The polite stewardess leaned over ‘Porridge or Omelette’? she inquired. I licked my lips in hesitation, pausing over what I should choose as my second breakfast. After a few moments of pondering, I selected porridge. The term porridge in this instance turned out to be grossly misleading.
Porridge isn’t something that often frequents my breakfast menu, so it came as a surprise to me when three neatly placed prawn heads littered in a sea of oats and broccoli buds emerged as I peeled back the stripey yellow foil. Flabbergasted by the culinary scene in front of me, I slowly placed the foil back over the rectangular food parcel.
It was as if I’d seen something from a Kubrickian horror I wasn’t supposed to have laid eyes on.
At this point, I asked the polite stewardess as she pass down the aisle for the omelette. This time there was only a sea of bacon and McMuffin style goodness.
Unfortuantely the connecting flight to Tokyo, didn’t have a multimedia system, so I was left twiddling my thumbs whilst writing. For the more observant of you, yes, I do have a third hand.
After ten minutes or so after finishing my fatty western platter, I struck up conversation with the gent next to me: Heiko. Heiko, wait for it, was a Dutch death-metal session musician who was currently on the last leg of a world tour. Like the rest of his group, he donned a thick leather jacket, sporting black jeans along with a dark blond ponytail and a clean cut face.In his late 30’s, we spoke of lots of things over the next two and a half hours or including the British election…I quipped that as it was the day after our general election with the conservatives sweeping into Downing Street with a narrow majority, I’d picked the earliest flight possible to travel as far as my wallet would take me.
I also introduced Heiko to Irn Bru, which is essentially more common in tap water in Scotland, with it’s sweet bubblegum like taste. As I was speaking he pulled out a small pocket note pad and made a note, ‘how do spell that?’ he asked. It turns out that his wife owned a small cafe which was full of imported international soft drinks.
Sincerely, I really enjoyed his company on the flight, and after the near miss in Beijing, it really lifted my spirits. As we neared the end of our transit, we hit the back end of Typhoon Noul and experienced a far old bit of every flyers favourite friend- turbulence. Turns out, Heiko wanted a coffee bad. Real bad. So to my amusement he pressed the emergency assistance button rather aggressively. A poor Chinese lady stumbled slowly towards the back of the plane, no doubt fearing some awful accident. Unfortuantely when she heard his request she was incredibly pensive.
Turns out, nothing comes between a Dutchman and their coffee.