Saturday, July 19, 2008
Smugness Never Pays
I quite like returning home after a short time away. It's always a relief to get off the plane & know what you're going to expect. When you fly Qantas, a smug Male Flight Attendant often announces upon touchdown, 'Welcome to Australia, Gods Own Country' or something similarly cringeworthy. Nothing like that was said by the JAL flight attendant. It was just all smiles & bows. In fact, when we took off from Los Angeles, the entire Japan Air Lines groundcrew stood to attention on the tarmac & waved & smiled until the plane was just about in the air. I had never seen anything like it in my life. It was kind of wonderful even though it looked a bit silly & naf.
As I got off the plane, there was a spring in my step. I knew the drill, this was MY TOWN.
Wrong. As I walked into the Customs Hall that I had judged would be empty as this was one of the first planes to touch down in the morning, my heart sank. The place was literally crawling with PILGRIMs arriving from all over the planet for the rather stupidly named 'World Youth Day'. It's more like 'World Youth Week' or 'World Youth Eight Days' as the whole thing lasts for days & days.
I stood at the loathsome Baggage Carousel desperately searching for my bag & again realising for the millionth time that it Never Pays to be Too Smug.