Dispatches from the Boston Front No. 2 - What's the Deal With Airplane Food?

As I write this, (at least the first draft) I am sitting on a plane looking at a small, bluish-silver bag which contains an amalgam of unrecognizable foods which are themselves amalgams of undecipherable ingredients. The description on the bag offers no help with its reference to blends of corn products and cheese bits and almonds. (I did, indeed, find the almond. It refused to come out. I was forced to go in after it. It might have been worth the battle if it had not tasted of hints of corn products and cheese bits.) In spite of meals that are somewhat short of heaven, in spite of hours clocked waiting for delayed flights, and in spite of dead batteries, flat tires, and rattle-trap rental cars – I really like to travel. 

There are two groups of auditors for which I feel sorry. The first are those who travel as part of their jobs, but genuinely do not like that travel. I recognize that we do what we have to do to maintain employment, but I only reiterate what I have said in other posts - be sure you are doing a job you enjoy. And, if you are being forced to travel and that is something you do not like to do, then find a different job.
 
The second group of auditors for whom I feel sorrow are those who do not get to travel. I realize you may not feel sorry for yourself (see above.) But, whether you miss the travel or not, all I can do is repeat, “Gee, I’m sorry.” Because travel is the whipped cream topping the hot fudge sundae that is the joy of being a professional internal auditor.
 
When I fly, I still love to get the window seat. (There is an exception. On longer flights I have quite the dilemma. I am old; I drink a lot of coffee. This combination results in the need to make a strategic decision whether an aisle seat might not be a better choice.   You fill in the blanks.) I love watching the land pass me – finding landmarks, seeing the geology change below me. I feel sorrow for those who have lost the joy of flight.
 
And I love the road trip also. I like being a part of the land’s transition travelling from desert to hills to mountains to sand to trees to snow to water to cities and towns in the more remote parts of the land. In the late 80s and early 90s, I was manager over an area that included Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. To reach some of the remote locations required serious windshield time. There is no way to get to Roswell, New Mexico other than a flight to Albuquerque and a 3-hour drive, a flight to Lubbock and a 3-hour drive, or a flight to El Paso and a 3-hour drive. It gave me the opportunity to see details of the land I never expected.
 
Yeah, there are hardships. The package of conglomerated weird bits that airlines call “snacks” is one example. A further example is the hours waiting in airports for delayed flights (the most dangerous of those being Las Vegas where, for some unknown reason, they have made it quite easy to wile away the hours in front of slot machines which are apparently placed there just for those occasions when your flight is delayed, you need to wile away some time, and you feel you haven’t paid enough Nevada tax.) Another example is the time I ran over a jack (for some unknown reason, resting in the middle of the road) which punched a hole in the gas tank. But…I fear I have said too much.
 
Travel is just too much fun. Don’t get me wrong - I would probably have hated experiencing more travel than I did in my career. But I have gotten the opportunity to see prehistoric dwellings, natural arches, sky-rending lightning storms, sand dunes stretching to forest-covered mountains, dark skies filled with the Milky Way, and more things than I can list - things I would never have seen, otherwise.
 
Maybe this flight to Boston isn’t the most exciting. And, at this point in the flight, the high point is indeed that package of impenetrable ingredients. But who knows what will come next?

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 by Mike Jacka

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