“Do you know what’s the best thing about flying in the morning, love?”
“Is this a joke?”
“No. Airport breakfasts.”
It’s probable that Air Asia’s ground mechanics have only ever repaired scooters. Their record is not the best. We are at the back of a forty-deep queue to check our bags in. They have decided that one check-out-girl will suffice for all international flights today. Their approach to Customer Service seems similarly inept. I’m a grump. My one saviour. My El Dorado. My holy morning grail that whispers to me that all will be ok. My airport breakfast.
The Saltaire at Leeds Bradford Airport is crap. But even they serve hot food around the clock. No-one minds paying twice as much for an airport breakfast because it’s an airport breakfast. A hot airport breakfast is a non-negotiable of international air travel. Isn’t it?
At Manchester Airport you have Trattoria Milano: A rip-off, but just what you want. At Munich you have Charles Lindbergh five-star, fine dining. At Abu Dhabi there’s a buffet and you can get idlis, dosas and dumplings or you can go to the Asian specialist, Yumcha, or a have a shit fry-up at O’Leary’s. Even at Liverpool John Lennon you’ve got a Frankie and Benny’s. That’s just class-able as food.
Here at Chiang Mai international departure lounge, where there are regular flights to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Hong Kong, it’s different. In Thailand, the country that gave us pad Thai, tom yum, massaman curry and khao soi, we have a closed foot-massage shop, a range of Shisheido cosmetics, an indoor market stall and a Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen sell cinema style hot-dogs and ice cream. If you want some nutrition, however, it’s a toss up between a micro-waved spinach pie from the café or a 1-kilo bag of dried durian fruit. And seriously, who eats that shit? It tastes like someone let gourd go to rot in a pool of bin-cum. Are you trying to be unsociable? Kiss me.
There may not be breakfast available, however, my enthusiasm for the human condition is maintained by the availability of items deemed wholly more important than hot food, which are available here. Two separate shops sell bird nests made out of snail extract. Stuffed duck, pig AND dog, polyester, draft excluders can be yours in four colours and for less than 2000bht. If you’d prefer a hollow, plastic, cartoon, peanut golem, in a rubber-duck ring, with flippers, white gloves and a bucket and spade then you’re also in. Hot food, you say? Jesus, man! What’s up with you?
When did we start making these choices?
Enjoy your flight, sir.
Thanks for reading.