MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “flying”


As teenagers, we often complain, moan and storm into our rooms angrily when parents forbid us from doing something, usually going out. It has gained the term “grounded”, as if we are airplanes prohibited from flying to symbolise that our wings are being tied down.

Yet, the same word has another meaning: that of being well-balanced and sensible. Of being able to see both sides to every situation and being capable of taking a rational decision.

It is only when you are truly grounded – actually prevented from flying – that you realise what the whole concept really entails.

We have the option of going anywhere we want, practically at any time we choose to do so. Yet, we may not exploit this opportunity for months. But when that “given” is taken away, when the choice is removed, that is when we start to miss it.

Life has a strange way of altering your point of view and of offering valuable lessons.

Sometimes it is not about how far your travel, but how much you spread your wings and do fly. How much you take advantage of every opportunity life gives you.

The unlikely escapades of a gold member

flying_penguin_2072615He was not unfamiliar with cold “jokes” or the usual glary eyes when they spotted his name. John Beene was not exactly a name that passed unobserved. Yes, it did sound like that famous – or rather, infamous – actor, but when he was being called out, Mr Beene became a head-turner. You see, everyone was expecting to spot that awkward-looking fellow who starred in the homonymous British television series. But they never saw him. Instead, they found a rather short and bumpy middle aged man, who was growing bald from the top sideways and with wrinkles engulfing his eyes to the extent that he seemed exhausted from life itself.

But Mr Beene was quite an energetic man. And today he was super excited.

He was traveling first class.

No, of course he couldn’t afford it. He had spent almost all of his adult life working at a family pharmacy that was passed down generations, thus was used to the home economics of saving, depositing, and only allowing for short (but sweet) luxuries. His nephew, however, was recently hired in a leading airlines company. And as a promo stunt, combined with some discrete manipulation of customer data, he managed to secure his uncle a gold membership card with a free first class trip. To Thailand.

So there he was. Mr Beene, whose times flying could be counted on one hand, was now seated on the very first seat of a huge Jumbo plane preparing to skid to the other side of the world.

He was prepared for the luxury. He was even looking forward to it. But how much is too much luxury?

Once the plane doors closed, the stewardess, dressed in a clean pressed white and orange suit with a small cap clipped tightly on her gel-smoothed hair bob, offered him a welcome drink. The champagne tickled his nose and he jolted slightly in his seat. As soon as the plane took off, she returned with a huge smile and a wet hot towel in preparation for his lunch. A menu soon followed. Mr Beane was dumbfounded. Last time he travelled, he remembered a stale sandwich poorly packed being literally thrown at him. And that was it. Now, there was a selection of four-course meals.

They were still piping hot when they arrived; the steam and the aroma filled his nozzles and built up his appetite. Was he surely on a plane in mid-air? There were restaurants he had dined at that were not even half as good as this.

The meal was to be eaten using stainless steel cutlery. The drink – anything he chose – was served in crystal glass on his side. He had all the arm and leg room he desired and could stretch and move around to his heart’s content. Compare this to the stuffed, cramped, if-you-flinch-I’ll-punch-you-without-meaning-to economy class just a few rows behind.

Heck, there are people who travel like this all the time? Thought Mr Beene, who was trying to act all normal and accustomed to this treatment, but he couldn’t find the damn tray to put his five-star food on. Is there a secret button you need to push?


There we are striving to make ends meet. Counting pennies to get through the month. To pay bills on time. To get the kids through school. To be able to go to the beach during the summer. To buy a few gifts for Christmas. All whilst becoming adept at mental calculations. And then there are those who don’t need to do all of this. Who don’t need to worry if they run out of money, because they know they won’t. Those who have others doing the hard chores. Who even have help for connecting a couple of cables, let alone everything else. Those who find it natural to go on ski trips to the snowy Alpine slopes during the winter, and indulge on the sandy Caribbean shores during the summer. Those who never really have to work for anything. Those “upstairs” who see life a lot differently than those “downstairs”. Such is the class chasm between business and economy class. As is in real life, a refugee risking their very life in hope of a (brighter) future will always experience, live, and know life so vastly in contrast to what an upper-class elite bred into wealth and power will. The former will even travel hidden in the back of chock-full trucks illegally crossing borders in the night; the latter will travel on private planes, driven by chauffeurs and guarded by suited security men.

You see, there are some who have money and are raised as “born-elites” having it all easy in life. And there are others who only have emotions, and are left wondering where the heck they hid they food tray in first class…

Flying out

california-condor-flying-out-of-the-darkness-max-allenIt’s funny how whenever you are in a foreign country time flies by so quickly and well, so differently. Be it for work or pleasure traveling is wonderful. And being in another country is marvellous, regardless of the stress and anxiety you may have. It is always an adventure being somewhere you don’t really know. Exploring new places, observing new customs and meeting new people is in essence part of our sociable human nature. And above all it’s fun.

It is a chance to break out of reality and for a few days (maybe for a few hours) fly on your own little cloud. As if you are entering a trance, a dream if you wish, that very often you don’t want to wake up from. Because really, who wants to return to routine and reality when flying out of it is so much more exciting?

But as money cannot last forever, at some point you must return.

In order to plan for the next time you fly out.

And who knows maybe you will even encounter the place that will capture your heart and keep you there…

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