The Grand Tour, Brussels Airlines, Business Class

Did someone hear a tooth sucking noise? I don’t know how this happened. I was perfectly willing to fly steerage with the rest of the great unwashed and then suddenly we were being escorted to the first class lounge by an entire entourage of Brussels Airlines employees singing and dancing triumphantly. Depositing us into the midst of the happy crowd (see below) celebrating, along with us, their good fortune at being among the select in the Business Class Lounge.

My new friend from Russia, Faceliftska, (also below) who, about 78 years of age and dressed like a 15-year old, had a face that had seen a scalpel more than a few times, and while her face itself was wrinkle free and virtually immobile, her neck flapped around like a pelican. And then there was Happy and Chuckles, a fun couple who live on the corner of Stopobamacare and Concealedcarry were such a treat, he nearly smiled once. But they weren’t as fun as the couple who sat behind us on the plane. He never stopped talking. Ever. He actually read the flight safety booklet aloud to his wife. When everyone else was asleep and the cabin went dark he continued to talk and talk and talk. Then at some point he turned his reading light on and began to made a fun light show on the ceiling of the cabin until a flight attendant came and slapped, er, stopped him.

But there was a lovely display of chocolates, fruit and champagne in front of me. In case I was feeling peckish. The actual food train started with smoked salmon (yuck) and warm nuts. The flight attendant had just set my glass of Haut-Medoc down next to the salmon when Ashish opened his sling-shot automatic table which slapped my glass of wine off my tray rocketing its contents across our entire enclosure. After that got cleaned up and I gave her back that smoked salmon, they offered me a chicken and lentil starter salad which looked good but I’d eaten a ham, cheddar and olive tapenade sandwich in the waiting area and didn’t want to overdo. The main course was duck confit with cilantro lime rice and some lovely Chinese five spice sauce. I hope to recreate this dish for myself it was that good. I had the post prandial cheese but skipped dessert, not because I was worried about calories (I’m on vacation fer chrissake) but because I didn’t want to be uncomfortably full when I hunkered down in the lies-flat-seat-bed.

I needn’t have worried. I didn’t sleep anyway. Yappy and his light show kept me awake most of the night and the massage function in my seat caused an occasional alarming wave of movement under me that felt not unlike a mouse. This usually happened right as I approached the point of the edge of something that might be sleep-like. So, no sleep for me.

Ah, business class. You just can’t beat it.