Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Flight Log 4 : CX504

Hong Kong (HKG) - Tokyo (NRT)

Following such a positive experience with Cathay Pacific just two days ago, I had a certain sense of anticipation as I was shown to seat 1A. The cabin was just over half full, with 1K, 2A and the four centre seats also occupied. I had a glass of apple juice and browsed the morning paper prior to departure. We pushed back at 0907, a few minutes ahead of schedule. Take-off was at 0920.

Once in the air, flight attendants Ricky and Maggie got the service underway as quickly as possible. When offered another drink, I decided to go for one of the two so-called CX Signature Drinks, a Cathay Delight. This was described as "a Kiwi fruit based non-alcoholic drink with coconut juice and a touch of fresh mint." Colour-wise, it is not for the faint-hearted, but it was very refreshing.

There were two separate menus available, a so-called Brunch menu and a Japanese menu. The Brunch menu was as follows :-

Marinated prawn and salmon roulade served with fresh lemon and dill vinaigrette
Fresh mushroom soup served with mini garlic baguette
*  *  *
Main Courses
Lobster with spinach and scallop sauce (an award winning dish, apparently)
Turnip cake and Chinese dim sum
Penne pasta with tomato, olives and Mozzarella cheese
Leek and potato boulangere or steamed rice
Selection of Western or Oriental vegetables
*  *  *
Cheese Board and Seasonal Fresh Fruits
*  *  *
Chocolate and pear tart served with fresh double cream
Tea & Coffee
Tea or coffee with pralines

Brunch? But for the early hour, I think that menu could easily have worked for dinner, but who's complaining?   The drinks choice was as on Flight 3. I won't attempt to reproduce the Japanese menu, but the person in 1K had it and, while I have no idea how it tasted, everything presented looked like a work of art.

I had the appetizer and the soup, followed by the award-winning lobster dish   I drank apple juice and water, in view of the time of day, but succumbed to the offer of a small glass of port with my cheese. I don't know ... port at 1030 in the morning ... but then I figured that no-one would ever find out   I skipped on both the fruit and dessert and rounded things off with a nicely presented cup of cappuccino.

As far as IFE is concerned, I watched a couple of classic BBC comedies, but couldn't really get into either of them. I knew what I really wanted - to get into that classical section of the Audio on Demand part of the system. I heard Mozart's 40th and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in full.

A somewhat bizarre episode ensued. A flight attendant whom I didn't recall seeing earlier appeared and urged me to accept a 2nd cup of cappuccino that she had just made. As I felt stuffed, I thanked her but declined. She looked crestfallen. Maggie suddenly appeared at her shoulder and said to me "Oh please, Mr *******, she has worked so hard. Don't turn her down!" I sensed that she was a trainee and obligingly changed my mind. When the FA appeared later to clear it away, she seemed to be at great pains to find out whether it had been better than the first one served by Ricky! I had actually preferred the first one, but diplomatically said that they had both been very good. She didn't seem too pleased! I sat there wondering what on earth all that had been about

Shortly thereafter, we were making preparations for landing at Narita. We touched down at 1341 and were on-stand at 1345. As I was disembarking, the Cappuccino Mystery was explained ... well, I don't know, actually ... maybe it just got even more bizarre! As Maggie was bidding me farewell, she said "Oh, I'm sorry for forcing you (forcing me???) to have that coffee. She had whipped up the froth higher than ever before and so wanted you to try it!" I was speechless.

Great flight, with some unexpected "entertainment!"

Date: Wed 03 Mar 2004
Aircraft : B747-400
Scheduled dep : 0910
Actual departure : 0907
Scheduled arrival : 1355
Actual arrival : 1345
Cabin : First
Seat : 1A

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