At 39000 feet…
What a journey. Everything worked. Everything was on time, which was just as well as I really hadn’t left much time at Heathrow in the event of any problems with the Edinburgh flight. The new terminal 5 was cathedral like in its size and almost empty as was the Heathrow express – maybe there are times when it is very busy but it was a strange experience to be thanked by the computerised voice for using the train on my free ride to Terminal 3 – what a setting for 1984, if we weren’t in 2010. Terminal 3 was anything but cathedral like, unless it was a cathedral of shopping. It was also extremely busy. However the Thai Airways staff checked everyone in ontime and boarded us in the 747-400 efficiently. I am so impressed with cabin crews. What a way to make a living. The crew on the second plane are doing an 11 hour stint which starts off with serving water, peanuts and a hot towel, goes through two hot meals, sandwiches, innumerable drinks (mainly non-alcoholic!) but above all – well above all – their smiles and reassuring manner give tremendous confidence to everyone else on the plane. You would really believe that they just take for granted that they are flying more than 400 people in a metal tube weighing many tons, 39000 feet above dry land in temperatures of minus 40 degrees – they act as if they were in a street cafe in the Grassmarket on a nice day – and in addition that they seem always to be in a good mood. What Hochschild (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_labor )calls ‘emotional work’ – very difficult to keep up the face sometimes, I imagine. I managed to shut my eyes for a few hours between about 6 and 10 our time, but really I’m just assuming I’ll stay up till about 3pm on Thursday our time (that’ll be 11pm in Phonm Penh) and try to get into the new routine straight away. Akun chreun (that’s thanks to you and me) to the Thai Airways staff.
As I start my stint in Cambodia, I just want to say a big
to all of you over there who supported, encouraged, permitted, put up with, listened to, and helped me – you made it easy for me to do this. I hope I am able to do something worthwhile that justifies my time here. My blog can be found here at
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