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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Flying to Indonesia...

On my way from JFK airport in NYC to Changi, Singapore, I was lucky enough to travel on Singapore Airlines--with whom I have never flown before. And while flight attendants are very business-looking in their single or double breasted blazers or shirts with ties or scarves, the flight attendants (all women) were beautifully dressed in long sleeved blouses and ankle length skirts, both blue with a golden tan floral-type motif.

Anyway, while sitting in economy class, I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a menu of their meal selections, by World Gourmet Cuisine. Now, being accustomed to economy class fare, I was expecting a 3-inch dry turkey sandwich with a packet of mayonnaise and a soggy leaf of lettuce on an even soggier bun and a chocolate bar for dinner and maybe an "egg" and "cheese" on a mini bagel. The free beverages included soft drinks, fruit juices, non-alcoholic cocktails, regular cocktails, beers, liquers, spirits, aperitifs, and wines. I decided to go with a white wine spritzer (quite refreshing) in hopes that it would allow me to sleep. But then I detected the delectable scent of ginger.

It was time for the first meal... Dinner! We had a choice of stir fried beef with ginger and spring onion, with vegetables and steamed rice or grilled chicken breast in mushroom sauce, with buttered vegetables and potato with onion. I chose the latter. As the tray was passed to me, I looked at a variety of foods. There was a cup with cubes of ham mixed with vegetables, a small package of crackers and a piece of cheese, a cup of rice pudding and a wheat and oat roll with a pat of butter and jelly. I removed the cellophane over each cup and then the aluminum cover over the main course. Instantly I was greeted with the aroma of mushroom and chicken. It was an absolutely exquisite meal that one may have found in a 3 or 4 star restaurant. The entire meal was enjoyed and soon I was off to sleep.

Unfortunately I missed the after dinner snack which was one of the following choices: penne bolognese sauce or fried rice with chicken, peas and carrots. Upon arrival in Frankfurt, Germany--about 6 hours later--I was still very full from the dinner that I was unable to sample any food at the airport. Once we were allowed back on the plane, I had another white wine spritzer which my neighbor had seen and decided to order one for himself!

Then, lunchtime! This time, there were 3 choices! Rindroulade--german style beef roulade with bacon and gherkin served with assorted vegetables and mashed potato; braised sesame flavored chicken served with selected vegetables and steamed rice; and Gaeng Chu Chee Pla--Fish fillet in red curry and coconut milk served with mixed vegetables and steamed rice. I decided to go with the fish, which was served with smoked salmon with leek salad, gouda cheese and a cracker, a and roll with butter and jam. The scent of the main course wafted into my nostrils and seemed to dance in my head, googling my eyes involuntarily before tantalizing the tastebuds on my tongue. I mixed the rice in the sauce and cut a small piece of fish and slowly brought it to my mouth. The curry and coconut was a beautiful fusion of flavors.

After dinner I was very excited to have been brought an ice cream bar. It was a cross between a Klondike bar and an ice cream sandwich, also very delicious. The after dinner snack service consisted of the following choices: savoury sandwich, vegetarian sandwich, roasted peanuts, chocolate bar, assorted biscuits, potato chips, or fruit. I chose the savoury sandwich, which was indeed savory, although I was unsure if it was some type of cured ham or roast beef.

Later in the flight was breakfast. Breakfast choices were: braised egg noodles with shredded pork, mushroom and onion OR breakfast cheese egg roll, chicken sausage, sauteed potato. Not being one for meat other than bacon in the morning, I chose the breakfast cheese egg roll. However, I was kind of scared because reading it in the menu, it seemed like a cheese eggroll. I was surprised to see when I lifted the aluminum cover that it was egg and cheese in a sort of pinwheel shape arrangement. The chicken sausage was surprisingly tasty as well as the sauteed potato. There was also fresh fruit: one large grape, 2 slices of kiwi, one slice of pineapple, one slice of cantaloupe, and one slice of honeydew. I'm not gonna lie, I don't like fruit. I had the grape, the kiwi and the pineapple. There was another roll with butter and fruit preserve, yogurt and coffee!

When we arrived in Singapore, I was so tired and full that I didn't mind not eating for 6 hours, which was how long it took to board the connecting flight to Indonesia. This time I was on Jetstar. The flight attendants were all women again, however, these women were wearing single-breasted, gold-buttoned, caribbean teal blazers and black skirts. We received some kind of muffin in cellophane. I opened the little package and pulled it out. There was jelly (?) already spread on top with what looked to be a raisin (?) but was some kind of lavender-gray color. One bite of that muffin and I wrapped it back up in the cellophane and gave it back to the attendant who gave me a half full glass of room temperature water. Thank you. That will be just enough for me to rinse my mouth out. The funny thing is after taking a bite, I noticed my neighbors weren't even opening the muffins and just stuffing them in the back pockets of the seats in front of them.

Later last night I went to the mall and ate some really fresh sushi. My father and I were able to eat for about 130,000 Indonesian Rupiehs, which turns out to be about $14 USD.


Lilimonster said...

How could you pass up the gherkin?!?!

Albany Jane said...

Ohhhh man. Best plane ride ever. Right? Sounds like it to me at least!

I've got some serious sushi envy here too!

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