When you complain or otherwise, go British: Lunchtime Tarom

Promoters v Demoters

Seldom am I compelled to promote something.

As a naturalised Brit, more often than not I fall in the “demoter” category. I expect things to run smoothly. I don’t notice it when they do. When they don’t, it takes a while to move from the moan-to-friends-in-library-voice-territory to being irritated. I rarely get cross; when I do, it is high time to pen a commensurately angry, yet well-mannered letter of complaint.

“Dear Sir,

     As a loyal customer of your Finary Dinary bistro, I am grieved to find myself constrained into writing to you on this occasion. It appears that we have reached an impasse over your head chef’s latest offering.

     With the greatest respect, there is an insurmountable difference between a rare and medium-rare fillet steak. I am very particular on this point, having developed a full proof evaluative method over the years triangulating temperature, texture and blood-spill.

     To avoid a partying of ways, may I be so bold as to suggest, that your employee revert to his customary approach to the steak-case, and forever abandon this latest craze of char-murdering an already determinately late cow.  

     Sincerely yours,

     Ms Steaks-are-Us”

This being said, I find myself in the unusual position of wanting to share a positive experience, and lacking the know-how to do it. If you have a better approach, feel free to share.

Promoter hat on. Go!

September 6, 2013. 12.15 GMT. (2.15pm local time)

Altitude: 36500 feet (plus minus a couple of toes)

Ground Speed: 532mph

Somewhere north-west of Bucharest, nosing ahead towards Vienna; final destination: London.

Lunch arrives.

     It’s fair to assume that no one ever looks forward to an airplane meal. It is bound to be a disappointment. We’ve all been there: soggy sandwiches filled with a protein-equivalent of nondescript provenance, pasta for which ‘al-dente’ is as distant a memory as The Bangles are to the iPhone generation, vegetables that have long given up on trying to maintain any bio-chemical semblance to that of their original state. If it’s not bland, it’s stinky, and more often than not it is both.

Imagine my surprise when, having peeled back the cellophane cover, I am presented with a healthy looking portion of sweet and sour chicken, complete with vegetable steamed rice.

I refuse to be lulled into a sense of security by such good first impressions. It wouldn’t be the first time when content did not live up to form. I’m not shallow that way. Looks are not enough to tempt me.

I lift the container to my nose – cautious, apprehensive – and sniff it. There’s nothing to cause any alarm. Second test completed, I unwrap the plastic fork and dig into one of the best warm meals I’ve had on a plane in a very long time.

I hope Tarom keep it up, and that other airlines follow suit. Heston would’ve approved of it, I’m sure.

Promotion over. Hat off. I wish you all a good day and poftã bunã.