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First Class Fuck-wit

Blame the toothache for E@L's behaviour here.


Monday morning, and it's particularly hectic at Terminal 2, Changi Airport. The SIA counters are all open and they all have long queues. There are four 1st Class counters opened, at last a dozen Business Class counters and a separate queue for Elite Gold members with even some counters open around the back on Aisle 6. E@L has never seen it so busy. The staff are as polite, efficient and helpful as ever - he's never had a problem with SIA. There must be a veritable plethora of planes departing round about 9 to 10 this morning.

Fortunately, for the chronic niggle of a returning tooth-ache is focusing attention on his left upper jaw, E@L freaks onto a rapidly moving line, gets his seat to Manila quickly and makes his way to the Immigration counters, which it seems through the plate-glass wndows are surprisingly empty considering the crush at check-in...

A middle-aged (at least he looks older than E@L) guy in a brown jacket is red-faced and coming all blustery at the SIA official by the exit from the back of the check-in area whose high and principal duty it is to make sure people don't take their trolleys through this gate and clutter up the area in front of immigration.

E@L hears the diatribe: a thick middle-European accent (E@L DID NOT say German, oops he said German) is saying:

- The airline should heff hed ze foresight to heff open more ze check-in counters (where? thinks E@L, they all ARE already open), zis is a dishgrace, vot terrible service, I am going to write a letter...

What a wanker, thinks E@L - he may as well be complaining to the cleaning staff. And only total wankers write letters to airlines.


The plane thumps to a landing and E@L is transported out of the religious wars of 16th century Holland and into an equally religiously conflicted and technologically unadvanced civilization - the Philippines. Here children eke out a living for their parents on huge burning refuse dumps, those with shoddy cars with signs saying "Happy with my driving? Call #####", meander murderously, randomly and all slippery down the roads like corpuscles in clogging arteries, as their passengers pray to variations of the same one God with equal lack of evidence that he is listening.

This is the go-forth-and-mutiply Catholic bastion of Manila, a city that seethes with copulation and fornication, legitimate and il-, sanctioned and profligate, sacred and profane.

As E@L waits for the hotel representative to take his details for a limo, a familiar figure lopes up sweating and red-faced. Oh great, Mr Complain is staying at the same hotel. After a brief wait some new cars arrive, E@L's at the front says the rep. E@L hears Mr Complain saying to the hotel representative,

- Is this my car? I don't want to wait any longer! I heff waited too long already. (Yeah, like 3 minutes.)

E@L moves quickly to confirm the first car is his and hands his baggage to the driver. While he is putting the bag in the trunk, Mr Complain walks directly between E@L and the car door, forcing him to halt and step back.

Politely, E@L asks him to;

- Get out of the FUCKing way! (You rude FUCKer, I'll give you some of your own medicine, is the justification. The tooth-ache provides the level of adrenalin.)

Mr Complain looks startled and moves on to the second car.


E@L stands second in the queue at the hotel. There is only one girl serving at this time and quite a few people are coming in from those airport cars that arrived just after E@L's.

By the time E@L decides that yes, he'll join the Renaissance Club, two other female clerks are checking customer's in. The guy behind E@L goes to one of the new girls, but Mr Complain magically appears demanding preferential treatment as there was no-one to take his luggage at the door security (about five people came just before him and the bell-boys were all busy with them), and there are not enough people behind the counter, what sort of hotel is this, it's more like a Youth Hostel...

E@L turned and looked him in the eye.

- You've done nothing but complain since Singapore check-in. I saw you there. You are a very rude person, you know that?

He is ready for a fight this time, though.

- Vot would you know? You should heff zeen how I vas treated there, there were not enough check-ins... very slow, is not professional!

- Man what do you WANT? There were dozens of check-ins, everyone counter was open. You shouldn't complain so much, it's bad for your stress levels.

- Ah crap, you know of course? The service is terrible avarywhere here.

- That's why you'll die of a heart-attack and I won't, says E@L (he of the 4/5 primary risk factors.)

E@L's receptionist smiles and hands him room key.

- Ja, and that's vy I travel 1st Class and you travel Business Class...

Mr Complain mumbles as goes back to his place in the queue.

E@L goes to the security desk to have his bag searched.

Business class, ha! As if that was the ultimate put-down... Little did Mr Complain know that E@L was only checking-in through Business Class as a PPS club member: he was sitting down in coach!

Ha! That would have shown him. Or maybe not.

E@L - replaying the first scenes of Will Self's My Idea of Fun over and over in his head.


Posted by: expat@large on Dec 05, 05 | 3:46 pm | Profile


you should have asked him if it hurt. if what hurt? that stick up his ass.

Posted by: MercerMachine on Dec 05, 05 | 6:00 pm

or ripped off his head and ****ed down his throat, a la the scene in "My Idea of Fun"


I'm a nice guy really...

Posted by: expat@large on Dec 05, 05 | 6:15 pm

ha ha, my relaxed fellow countrymen...worldwide known for their 1. class behaviour...just greet them with a friendly: SCHNAUZE ARSCHLOCH !

Posted by: drymonsoon on Dec 06, 05 | 2:39 am

Frankfurt airport is not exactly the model for efficiency either. WOnder if this guy complained all the way to Makati and with the girls in the bars too?

Posted by: Skippy-san on Dec 06, 05 | 4:46 am

Danke drymonsoon - my ex-wife is half-German but I don't recollect that phrase from my "Conversational German" class before we went to Deutschland together.

Skippy - yeah that got me as well, he's picked on the one of the best airlines in the world, and while the limo-taxi service isn't tidy to look at in Manila, it actually works a hell of a lot better than I've see in many American or European airports.

I sometimes feel that business-tourist people are *expecting* bad service in Asia and therefore they see it everywhere and in everything.

It's a perception issue, like only seeing bald fat guys in the girlie-bars when they/we only make up about 25% of the punters in reality.

Posted by: expat@large on Dec 06, 05 | 7:49 am

Good job dude! :o) Would have shoved him off too.. except I probably would have found it really hard to ask him to fuck off... although I have been known to tell a couple of taxi drivers off in my time... *grin*

Posted by: pc on Dec 06, 05 | 2:28 pm

There should have been mud-wrestling!

Or at least jello!

Posted by: chlim01 on Dec 06, 05 | 2:41 pm

what a dick... i hope someone spilt something on him on the plane.

Posted by: WJ the II on Dec 07, 05 | 12:26 am

Chlim - yuck!

WJ - that would have been a good comeupance too!

Posted by: expat@large on Dec 07, 05 | 8:23 am


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