Somewhere over Siberia

Travelling companions in Beijing
Travelling companions in Beijing

I used to travel a lot for work. And I mean ‘a lot’ in the same sense that a fish sees the left-hand side its bowl. Every seven to ten days I was on a plane. I was quite literally on first name terms with the Singapore Air stewardesses.

That experience came hurtling back to the forefront of my mind today, for a couple of reasons.

The first is that we flew Lufthansa between Beijing and Munich. I have never liked Lufthansa, and today’s experience reminded me why. The only adjectives I can come up with are ‘efficient’ and ‘perfunctory’. Just enough legroom, just enough blanket, just enough service. Not enough to stretch, not enough to get cosy, not a smile in sight.

Way back when, it was bad enough in business and first class. Today back here in economy, it’s only worse. Even the boys are finding the seats uncomfortable.

The second is that I can look to the side and see my family. Especially after Callum was born all that international travel was a trial of loneliness. I would get on the plane and make myself miserable looking at photos. I feel so lucky now to be doing this with Jennifer, Callum and Declan. The contrast is hard to describe, but it’s very, very real. If I was an Amazing Race contestant I’d get teary at this point and talk about how these are the only people in the world I’d do this with and how proud I am of them all. Luckily for us all we’re not on the Amazing Race so that won’t happen, ’nuff said.

And with all that, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be doing this up in business class…

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