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vendredi 11 juin 2010

Food Insecurity in the Land of Plenty

It is not in every one's fate to think in advance about Food on the day of their trans atlantic flight..But on my 45th transatlantic flight since September 2006, i began thinking early enough about the food for the entire day...
I give myself plenty of time on the day of a long trip.. left home early enough to reach CDG in time to check into the Lounge..The efficiency of the Paris Transportation system makes one feel confident about taking it on the day of departure across the seas..
Train to San Lazare
a mere minutes..
Dont give into the temptation of nibbling on a pain au chocolat here.. but look for no 21 to take you to the opera.. The driver a young african was in a morose mood.. so forgive him..

the ride to Opera is a short one and the direct bus to CDG is getting ready.. and the driver is very friendly, making a definite attempt at greeting each of the passengers and talking his best in English..9.10 euros and off you go and while the peripherique was cluttered on this rainy day, we did manage to reach CDG terminal ! which is the first stop on this bus, by 9 am
First morsel of the day, while checking the mail at the Star Alliance Gold Lounge at Terminal 1. After checking in, you walk up and then go through security and somewhere along the line someone cursorily looks at your passport..

a nice capuccino, some cheese, a pain au chocolat, yoart avec fruits...
the time waiting was spent catching up on news, checking emails and during the last few minutes walking around the terminal 1 which is not at all pretty. There were passengers to shanghai and tokyo who would be connecting with their flights at zurich as i was connecting with mine to Miami.
Even though the flight was only 45 minutes in length, i knew that a breakfast of sorts would be served as the flight left at 11 am, and one has to be judicious at the selection of food. cold meats out, just eat the fruit and the vegetable compotte and enjoy the yaort and the fresh bread.

there was but one hour in between the arrival of the flight from Paris and the departure of the flight to Miami and all international flights departed from a distant terminal eventhough ZRH is a small airport by international standards.
but one has to trust in the Swiss Efficiency. arrival. transfer to a bus. to the terminal. passport check. security check and then a train to the departure terminal. another security check. and then you are right near the aircraft an airbus 340 300 ready to depart for Miami. I had selected a nice enough seat with enough privacy. and the journey began with a glass of champagne...
reading, wanting to watch a movie, the selections were not that good since i look forward to watching a japanese movie on these flights. as one could imagine most of the movies were recent american releases with a smattering of european movies and funnily enough a few hindi movies which i have no interest in watching. i chose to watch invictus about nelson mandela and the rugby world cup 1995 and the tense situation at that time in that rainbow nation, appropriate as it begins to host the 2010 FIFA... well acted by Morgan Freeman and Matt Demon with south africa itself as the back ground, rather emotional at times for those of us who come from the southern climes...
i shall wait for my lunch now..
I dont ever remember tasting a swiss wine, so i opted for this wine: Baselbieter Primus BR x 100 % Riesling x Sylvaner 2009
which was a good choice for the starters. the menu had been developed by star chef Tanja Grandits of the legendary Basel Resto Stucki, called the Romantic Cuisine.
vanilla marinated pike-perch spiced jus and sauteed melon, just melted in your mouth.
There was no doubt about my choice for the main course: I eat and have eaten so much salmon, from my student days in London, it was my favourite breakfast and now in Paris, it is the fish of choice, so when i saw Salmon offered as one of the choices for lunch, neither the veal steak nor the chicken ragout or the chicory piccata held any attraction.
Baked Salmon with wasabi crumble, wasabi sauce, saffron and lemon basmati rice and fennel sauerkraut.
yoghurt panna cotta with rosemary. A glass of port Porto Niepoort Tawny didnt sit well in the tongue.
I truly enjoyed this flight. it is not often one looks forward to long flights these days, so that i was grateful for every little comfort on this flight. also going west to the united states the flights are longer and it is during the day, as such it seems longer than the through the night flights back to europe.
light snack just before arrival at Miami International Airport

As usual the Global Entry which took me twenty seconds and as my luggage arrived quite swiftly, i was out of the immigration hall within about five minutes of arrival ..
Bienvenidos a Miami y las playas.....
So i ate sensibly and well, didnt over do, two flutes of champagne, and two glasses of Swiss Riesling, but the most satisfying aspect was that, soon after i arrived at the airport, my sister picked me up and we were off ...
After social catching up, her question was .. what would you like to eat.. I postponed it for a while but soon enough, okra and saltfish jamaican style was in front of me, with mango juice and nice english tea..
So life is a smooth flowing current in which you bring pleasures and relieve pains and sufferings of others while the Spirits look after you in the air and on the ground..
I am blessed with three gorgeous situations: my life in Paris which is getting better by the day, the life in Miami which is full of nostalgia and anticipation and my life in Havana full of visual and intellectual stimulations.. Gracias a la Vida.....(violeta para chile y mercedes sosa argentina)