05 August 2005

Taipei to HCMC

I wanted hot; I got hot. But this is inside-an-airport-no-A/C hot. A two hour lay-over, dying of thirst, and nothing available from the vending machines without local money.
China Airlines is my new favorite airlines. It didn’t hurt that I flew on a half-empty 747. Great food, non-stop movies on my own personnel screen, and CLEAN bathrooms even after a 12 hour flight. My second leg is with Vietnam Air. Left California 15 hours ago at 1am and it’s now 6am the next day. It will all catch up to me in about 2 days.

Vietnam Air was fine, but my plane was one of those recycled from another airline. Kind of run-down looking, but it got me to Ho Chi Minh City, and there were only about 50 people on the whole flight. Food sucked – just what you would expect from an airline. However, the flight attendants uniforms were some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Burgundy full length tunics, split on the sides to the waist, fitted bodice, long sleeves, and a mandarin collar. White pants underneath.

Being an older plane, it didn’t have a video safety film. Instead, four flight attendants, with what I can only describe as a beautifully choreographed dance, demonstrated the exits and emergency procedures. Stationed in the isles, two fore and two aft, they stood with an arm behind them, bent at the elbow to align with the waist. With the other hand, they gracefully pointed to exits, in perfect unison, accompanied by the instructions being read over the loudspeaker. They put on the life vests with flowing hand and arm movements, gracefully miming the pull-tabs/blow into-tubes method of inflation. They finished with an elegant, simultaneous bow. Best floor show I’ve seen in years.