Why must plane food be so severely dull? Why must aerial vegetables be sapped completely of their nutrition, so that runner beans are served as pale, soggy versions of their once vibrantly green selves.
Plane food may very well be the main cause of one’s grogginess after a 13 hour flight, even when presented next to such strong contenders as sleep deprivation and leg space limitations.
From recent experience I can recall that it was upon consuming the limp and lacklustre fish with honey and ginger that my problems really began. Would I have fared better had I chosen the chicken with potatoes? Perhaps, but I somehow doubt it.
It was out of sheer hunger that I ate what I could of what was described as a Malaysian breakfast. Spicy shrimp with coconut rice and those infamous green beans I spoke of at the start. despite my efforts to diffuse the gastric ill tidings with camomile tea I had come prepared with (knowing all too well the effects of the aero-gastronomic delights that awaited me) I was thwarted from attaining relief by a number of factors – the receptacle being no bigger than a slightly rotund espresso cup, and the lukewarm water it was filled with.
Despite my misgivings over the main courses, I found that I was shovelling in the desserts with relish. Was there anything spectacular about the treacle tart at dinner? Or the cake topped with the strawberry angel delight substance at breakfast? (perhaps the fact that I had this for breakfast didn’t help with my ailment) probably not, but much like a hostage suffering from Stockholm syndrome, I began to enjoy the company of the meal that had been imprisoning me. I couldn’t help but enjoy the crass sweetness and indulgently fake fruitiness, both of which were a source of immediate gratification.
Inevitably, ingestion gave way to self-loathing, borne from a disappointment with myself for having enjoyed these mini trays of sweetness with such relish. One futile, tepid shot of camomile later and I was well and truly feeling the effects of aero-digestive oppression. As my altitude lowered, so my regrets rose, and as the plane touched down, oh how I thought, ‘I should have just had the peanuts and left it at that.’