Travel anecdotes and notes
A series of observations, imaginings and happenings on a recent globe spanning flight.
When I travel, which is often, I am fortunate enough to enjoy the comforts of member-only airline lounges. Rather than being evidence of my wealth—a state of which, against my insistence, I am often mistaken—the reality is that traveling the globe—asides from depleting wealth—accrues air miles, sufficient quantities of which bestows privileges like seating upgrades, impressive looking plastic cards, the appearance of wealth (already covered) and lounge membership.
Airline lounges usually exist in the exclusive upper floors of airport departure areas, and are guarded by signs saying "Members only" on the outside, boarding pass checks on the inside. If you are unfamiliar with these refined heights, I can assure you that you are missing very little—I personally can leave the insufferable air of self-styed exclusivity you must dodge to secure the free crackers, a suffocating atmosphere—unlike smoking—yet to be banished. I defiantly wear my trainers and casual traveling clothes in the face of this, the disapproving stare medicine for the remnants of my pride and vanity.
Yes the seating is comfortable, and the free beverages and snacks are appreciated, but the most important privilege of air lounge membership is a guaranteed place to work. I value my productive time enormously, and wireless internet and power are priceless commodities when traveling.
As I leave the Hong Kong Red Carpet Club, my home and workplace for the last seven hours, I return a plug adaptor, borrowed on the conviction that there had to be an alternative to spending HK$300 in the electronics store downstairs, NZ to China the only plug I didn't think to pre-pack.
I had to deposit my boarding pass to borrow the plug, perhaps because sadly people really do steal these sorts of things, even in supposedly exclusive airline lounges. Maybe this is why the lady at the front desk seems genuinely happy to see me again; maybe because she will not have to search the entire terminal to return forgotten boarding pass, an unwelcome imposition, and likely occupational hazard.
Pleasantries exchanged, plug returned, I turn to leave through frosted glass automatic doors. "Gate 41" she calls out, helpfully and unbidden, a small gesture of kindness which saves me my next task—working out the departure gate, not printed on my boarding pass.