At least it used to be. Glorious.
I have arrived safely in England after a long flight from Toronto, not first-class, of course. I don’t think it makes much difference. I flew Cathay Pacific first-class from Toronto to Singapore last year to begin my almost-round-the-world cruise (one of the perks granted to us “world-travellers” as they called us) and I slept in one of those fascinating stretch-out beds. Slept is not the right word. I didn’t sleep any better there than I did last night in my Economy three-to-a-row chair. I dozed; time passed. I also slept on the bus from Heathrow Airport to Brighton (“Hove, actually”) to visit some cousins before I begin my theatre odyssey. Buses are like cradles to me, but I digress.
I tell you all this because we ate on the plane. That is, we were given something to eat. We didn’t have to order it in advance on a credit card as we do on domestic flights. (Nachos and cheese for a an outrageous price!) Dinner came on a tray, choice of chicken or mac and cheese. Chicken, please. plus a teeny bottle of red or white, also my choice. And that’s when I became very nostalgic.
Years ago there was a first-class flight in North America that sold out before economy. The Canadian airline, now defunct, ran it between Vancouver and San Francisco and it took about the same amount of time as was required to consume and enjoy a gourmet dinner with appropriate wines. The champagne would be poured as the plane took off; the liqueur was being rolled around the tongue as the plane landed . It was delightful and I thought of it last night as I munched my chicken, enjoying the memory more than the dry meat or the “savoury” rice.
The good thing about that memory is that it can never be duplicated; the bad thing is that it can never be duplicated. It spoiled my dinner last night. The good/bad thing, depending on how you look at it, is that it makes a carnivore a carnivore. and a wine drinker an oenophile.
“There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Hamlet, of course.) Or a very good memory.