The Road to La La Land.

So here we are own a plan on our way to la la land and the delights of airline food beckon.

There’s a choice between sausage and mash, chicken curry and a pasta.In the event there’s no chicken curry left, but the helpful flight attendant suggests that we she might have a premium dish ( exclusive to those who sit in rows of two not three as we are in economy ) might be available.

The online ordering system seems to have broken so what we ordered was not.

Giddy with excitement I plumped for the tortellini premium. I was offered a sausage and mash in addition, but declined out of a desire not to look like I inhabited pig class as a matter of course.

Giddiness soon wore off as the tort was not what it ought. Edible, but not premium. There lived a very small slab of green stuff underneath the alleged tort. It tasted of green stuff.

En route to LA this is a trip when last time I managed to cook up a headache of monster proportions. We are travelling virgin again, not a phrase that I like to use really, making it sound like we’ve never done this before.

I’m better prepared this time with an iPad so I can vent like this right now. I am armed with a stock of worthy podcasts to while away the hours, plus a book I’ve not read before: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell . Recommended holiday reading for the Christmas season.I was brought up around the Wigan area, so thought it would bring back those happy memories of mines and desperate poverty, not my own, but as told and recorded by George. I have memories myself as a small boy hearing the clogs of the miners on their way to work in the very early morning outside the house where we lived. Now there are no mines at all. That might not be a bad thing, but what replaced it is not that edifying, large fulfilment warehouses. At least they are clean.

I’m a quarter way through the small book and it brings to mind the subject of class. We are in economy, others are in premium where they get premium tortellini and more legroom, a privileged few are in first class, which may well be called “ultra high class gold star premium with early boarding”.They pay thousands to be a short walk away from us back here who know our place. Yes, that’s thousands! I had the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ just last night when I checked us in and the upgrade was £3600.00 each!,

Each!

If you spent 50 quid a week on food you’d have change at the end of the year.

That’s just the upgrade too.

I hope they get real coffee up there as the stuff we get in economy is grim indeed.

Perhaps they get better film choices and better sound systems, the one in economy is barely audible and the choice of films hardly seems to matter if you can’t hear it.

It might seem from this that I’m not enjoying myself. I’ll get back to you on that.

So back to class, and Orwell.

I wonder what he’d have made of the present. He describes slums and poverty and the smell of poverty. In Heathrow one is obliged to walk the tunnel of perfume after entering the terminal. I suppose it’s a good idea for them to try and sell this stuff when you are to be sitting for 10 plus hours and looking like a badly wrapped Christmas parcel when you arrive, you will at least smell good, or the perfume will disguise that odour of airline food and the clothes you’ve just slept in. A habit that the poor of Orwell’s day had no choice in.

I thought that when I went to school that by this time some 50 plus years later we would have a much more equal society. Poverty these days is seen as a household without flat screen tv. Orwell’s subjects were almost starving, yet today we have food banks to help our poor and celebrity chefs telling schools how to feed the children properly. We have obesity, eating disorders and fast food as well as high end food at a price that makes the mouth dry and the eyes water.

So, here we are in La La Land this time for Christmas , looking forward to spending time with family there and looking at how the Americans do this sort of thing.

We land in a few hours so it’s downhill all the way from here.


I wrote the above on the plane a few days ago, since then I came across this in a shop in LA and thought about Orwell’s subjects. A bottle of vinegar that would keep them in fish and chips for a couple of years.


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