Heathrow to Doha
We re-lounge at Heathrow, surrounded by the snooty, the successful, and the sordid all wheeling their valuables around the polished tiles like plastic pets. We hike to the gate and as I take my swanky seat on the plane I see resentment and loathing in every face filing past. I usually ignore the smug business class passengers but if I do catch an eye, I’m sure mine are filled with hatred. Here I am. A comfortable cunt.
As we taxi out a baby cries, sounding like the ghost of someone in incredible pain. I have been issued with a stiff menu boasting of a “talented team of chefs” and claiming to have been “carefully curated”. It has a textured cover like the matted wallpaper you see in hotels. All three starters, including the soup, have been “roasted”. The engines groan and we rattle cumbersomely along the concrete. With a sigh and a surge we take to the air. Some children whoop. I catch a sunlit London drifting by — the parks, the river, the Eye. There’s the Shard, vulgar and obvious like a shit stand-up. We climb into the pale blue, heavenwards.
I watch a savagely poor film called Resurrection and sleep the rest of the flight on the bed-seat. Luxury. At Doha we’re processed like packages through two meat-grinder security checkpoints as we fling ourselves onto the Perth connection. This plane is very chi-chi with such beguilingly helpful cabin staff I get a fit of the giggles. It’s a quarter past two in the morning local time and being offered a choice of champagnes before I’ve got my shit together makes me lose my shit. Everything suddenly seems very funny. I am bombarded with an eager-to-please cordiality. It’s like being beaten with a velvet cushion. In fact I have my own velvet cushion. I have a leather pouch containing socks, eye mask and toiletries. I am issued with pyjamas in my size. With their curved backs, the seats remind me of the waltzers. I have two windows and a sizeable telly. This is looking increasingly like a very bearable twelve hours. Fuck me, the rich are spoilt.