Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

August 2002

Meanwhile articleSaturday, August 24th, 2002, (9:04 pm)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

How come the only menu options in coach on any aircraft seems to be chicken or beef? I am assuming that the airlines have spend vast sums of money in researching how to keep the in-flight food costs down and therefore also in the dietary likes and dislikes of the coach class masses. Perhaps when you get down the bare bones of the situation we can all be categorized into three main groups. Vegetarian, Chicken or Beef.

I’m a breast man myself, though chicken legs are pretty good too. But you know, come to think of it beef is okay too. While I am sitting in the plane on the ground I usually decide if today is a chicken or a beef day. But when they come around mid-flight and ask me “Chicken or beef sir?” I have those few moments of pressured indecision as if on a TV game show before I end up choosing the chicken, as ever.

Of course when the said ‘chicken’ arrives it doesn’t resemble anything that looks remotely like chicken back on terra firma. It’s been processed into that microscopic square pink thing that is ‘served’ with nasty vegetables, a ‘salad’, some kind of a cookie that has a fancy name and a fruit cake desert that looks like a bio health hazard. All of this is dished up on a tray just that is just big enough to make balancing it and your drink on the seat back tray table seem like an aptitude test.

So now you’re sitting there trying to somehow eat the micro meal, drink your drink, watch the in-flight movie and be comfortable. It is of course impossible, you’re in coach for goodness sake. You sit there fighting for space on the arm rest you share with the person next to you who is if your extremely unlucky, a huge fat person with no personality, charm or manners.

The movie will be something suitable for all audiences. It’s the kind of movie you would be able to sit and watch with your Mom, except of course… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]

Meanwhile articleMonday, August 19th, 2002, (11:57 am)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

It’s been ten years since I visited my friends in California. Ten years! And now, after just five days I’m sitting in Los Angeles International Airport awaiting a plane back to Boston.

I’ve been on an extended trip out here in the U.S, taking in places such as Seattle and Portland, with other destinations like Boston and New York City still on the agenda. It’s turning out to be a truly great vacation. I’m jetting from place to place in First class on Delta flights, lapping up my air miles earned upgrade and pretending like I always travel first class! Rather than waiting till the last minute to get on the plane, I’m one of the first, if not the first person on the plane. I take my oversized seat early so I can be one of those smug bastards sitting there in first class sipping Champaign while all the ‘poor people’ traipse past me on their way to cattle class hell.

The Californian leg of my trip is coming to an end here in Los Angeles is international airport. I flew down here in a propeller driven aircraft full of suit wearing business types all reading the early editions of broadsheet news papers, leaving behind me a rather bleary eyed friend, Anthony, who had very kindly driven me to Fresno airport at some unearthly hour of the morning.

As the plane droned across the sunrise I looked out of the tiny window trying to soak up every last minute that California had to offer me. Below me pierced the tops of mountains that cast long early morning shadows across a cotton wool bed of clouds. I felt like the odd one out, the random guy dressed casually and actually enjoying what was someone’s else’s morning commute to the office.

Five days ago I was flying over the Nevada desert on my way to Fresno. The flight was pretty spectacular, I was entranced by the landscape below, a landscape far removed from anything I’m familiar with back in England. I’d had a great time in Portland and was sad to leave, but the excitement of returning to California and seeing people I haven’t seen or had much, if any, contact with for ten years was almost overwhelming.

Meeting me at the airport were my two old ‘best friends’ from my time in Fresno, Kevin and Josh. I haven’t spoken with… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]

Meanwhile articleFriday, August 2nd, 2002, (10:10 am)

Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

I’m on a bus from Tacoma in Washington, to Seattle. There isn’t much to do on a bus apart from look out the window, and as no one has cleaned the window on this particular bus for what looks to be about five years, I can’t see much. So I am on a bus using my laptop.

Don’t you just hate people who use laptops on buses. Fair enough if you’re on a plane using a laptop, that seems acceptable, but people who use their laptops on buses are just posers aren’t they. I mean if you’re well off enough to own a laptop, then your well off enough to get a cab! Using a laptop in a cab would be acceptable, but hey, not on a bus. On a bus your just showing off, and no one is impressed.

I have an excuse though. It’s the only acceptable ‘bus laptop usage’ excuse I know. See I’m not a local, so the usual rules do not apply. In fact I am not even American, so the entire ‘bus laptop usage’ thing needs to be looked at from an entirely different perspective.

You see in this case it’s okay for me to use a laptop on a bus because I don’t have a magazine or book to read, I can’t take any pictures and, well, I am a tourist. That means I can freely do stupid things and get away with it because I am a just some random tourist and as such I don’t know any better.

Come to think of it I have no idea if it’s a safe to use a laptop on this bus? Let me just subtlety check out the other passengers and see if any of them are potential muggers.

Okay, well there’s a kid over there asleep. No threat from him I think. He’s a bit nerdy looking anyway. Probably a Microsoft Windows guru at the grand old age of fourteen. He’ll go on to… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]