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May 27, 2004

off I flew

Saturday, May 22

When I woke up it was slightly light outside. My flight was leaving at about 6:30, which meant I should leave home at around 5:15 to allow ten-minute drive to the local airport and one-hour for checking-in, security checks, and boarding. "It can't be light now", I thought in the bed, "sunrise would be at around 5:30 and we set the alarm clock at 4:45 and I haven't even heard it rang... what time is it???" He looked up the clock and said, "we've gotta go right now, it's 5:57". We jumped off the bed, got dressed, took my luggage out, and got in the car and off we went.
Against the worries, I made it. I mean I made it to Honolulu, where I change flights back to Tokyo – the problem was, the inter-island airline company couldn't find my name in the reservation list for the international leg on their computer system at my local airport. Instead, they found my name for the wrong flight on the same day – Tokyo-Honolulu one. I got a bit panicked, but I had no choice but to take the flight to Honolulu anyways and there I would talk directly with United people.
Again, things went quite smooth. At a United's desk in Honolulu Airport, they instantly found my reservation for the Honolulu-Tokyo flight, even though there also was a reservation for that wrong flight, as well. I don't know how they came to create the wrong reservation – it would have been hectic to fly from Narita leaving in the evening of the 22nd, arriving at Honolulu at seven or eight in the morning of the same 22nd (due to the 19-hour time difference), and fly all the way back to Tokyo leaving Honolulu at 10:00 on the same day.

The flight was fine. I had a vegetarian meal, not because I am a vegetarian, but just because I was kind of tired of all those "chicken or beef?" question. On today’s flight, they had what sounded like Boeuf Bourguignon as a choice of beef. Boeuf Bourguignon a la in-flight meal?? I was really curious how good (or bad) it could be, so almost decided to decline the vegetarian meal that had been made exclusively for me upon the request from myself (what the heck!), but by the time the food cart reached to our seat row, beef packages were all gone and there were a lot of chicken something. Well, those chicken dishes didn't sound quite exciting enough for me to have them throw away my vegetarian dish, so I let them know that I had ordered a vegetarian meal (they hadn’t spotted my seat) and there it came. I had steamed white rice with supposedly chili beans and… something that I can't figure out what it was. It was a dish of what looked like lentils but tasted like... quite nothing else. They are seasoned with spices but very plain, or quite frankly, tasteless. I suspect they might be some kind of pasta made from white flour but I'm really not sure. Does anyone have any idea what they are?

5 comments:

Santos said...

oh my goodness, the last time i had a vegetarian meal on a united flight was from dc to la almost 10 years ago, and i think it was the same thing you had...some sort of orzo thingy, which is a rice or barley shaped pasta, with overcooked peppers and a bad dressing.

have you checked www.airlinemeals.net? people send in photos of their in flight meal. scary but funny!

chika said...

yeah, it was exactly like that - it's quite impressive that those United folks have been serving the same stuff for ten years...
I checked airlinemeals.net and it was fun :-) Didn't seem like anyone figured out what that was, though...

Anonymous said...

Looks like orzo to me. It's a classic Italian pasta that is relatively flat and has pointed ends... Hard to discern in the picture. But it is quite like any other pasta, but used quite a bit as a pasta for salads.

chika said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chika said...

hello someone,
thanks for the info - I have never heard of "orzo", but sounds like that's it, except that I can't believe that thing can be categoried as anything "Italian" - it was nowhere close to al-dente. After all, it was an airline meal, so they might have meant it to be an orzo dish. We never know. Thanks anyways!