Friday, May 13, 2005

Kissing at 30,000 ft

…well there are worse ways to pass the time on a business flight i.e. doing work. In the grand scheme of naughty things, kissing at altitude isn’t all that impressive really. Your legs are cramped, your mouth is dry and there’s always a passenger beside you who’s concentrating a little too hard on his newspaper.

So it’s not really with any particular sense of achievement that I say I snogged Angelo. In fact he wasn’t particularly attractive; Italian, brown-rimmed glasses (promptly removed), oversleep stubble (frequently rubbed), tatty t-shirt, ill-fitting jeans, well-worn backpack, software entrepreneur etc. You get the idea. Here are also some mitigating factors to consider. a. We had an interesting conversation about Anna Karenina – anyone who reads Russian literature can’t be so bad b. He admired my shoes c. the entertainment console at my SQ seat wasn’t working and d. we were in a plane (not walking down goddamned Orchard Road) so I figured I could snog anyone I wanted with impunity.

The flight was only 45 mins, from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. After we touch down, the assumption is end of flight, end of hanky-panky. Except that amidst effusive compliments, his fleshy palms grip mine and he repeatedly pressures me into a “nightcap” at his hotel. Which I repeatedly refuse. Which means he repeatedly asks…in true Italian fashion.

Anyway, those of you who know me will be happy – and pleasantly surprised – to know that I didn’t cave in, even after he offered me a free trip to Venice at Carnival and an insider tour of the city. (By the way it is extremely rare to find a real Venetian anymore – the population is reckoned to be 70,000 and rapidly dropping…even though ten million tourists visited last year. So pat on my back, I sure know how to pick ‘em.)

The next day he emails…here’s an excerpt.

“Your mail was as gelid as the deep undercurrents off the coast of Sakhalin island in winter. But then - among codfish and icicles - the word 'affection' beamed and smiled at me. That implausible string of characters was there even after a second incredulous scan. And it resisted a third, more probing and analytic, reading. Well - and if you are ever to believe an Italian, believe this one - I flew from Changi to Heathrow on the wings of that single word.”

It was all so amusingly excessive. Word of advice: if you’re ever sitting next to me on a plane, keep your blanket wrapped firmly round you and hope it’s not a long-haul flight. :)