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I can now state this openly and fearlessly: British Airways has the best food I have ever eaten on a plane. Since I started flying, I hardly could ever resist the temptation to have something to drink or eat on a plane. Even when it didn’t come for free or, more often, it didn’t taste anywhere near to BA quality. Many men who had the misfortune to fly on Ryanair know what I mean. It seems an insult to pay three Pounds for a coke or five Euros pounds for a pack of Pringles, but any cost actually pales in the face of what you get. Only two, maybe three generations of men had the privilege to enjoy a meal at 30,000 feet. Is the habit to fly really enough to spoil the beauty of it? I had a snack over the frozen Hudson Bay, I munched chips over the Atlantic Ocean, I drunk a whiskey and coke overlooking the Alps and I enjoyed a coffee flying over Paris, with sights of the Eiffel Tower and the legendary Parc des Princes glimpsing through the scattered clouds. I must have been somewhere above the Sahara Desert when they served us dinner and although the shadows of the night were already too long to enjoy the sight of the mighty sand dunes, sipping my wine I had them painted very clearly before my eyes. I glanced at the invisible landscape underneath me for long, stretching my sight as far as I could and hoping to snatch a glimpse of a campfire. Traveling Bedouins could have distinguished the flashing lights of the plane amongst the steady stars, perhaps an unnecessary addition to the night sky for them. Flying over an unknown, boundless and barren territory, I indeed needed to seek the comfort of seeing traces of their life far more than they needed to see me. But by the time I turned my attention to the inboard entertainment, the desert didn’t introduce at distance those who flew to those who sought warmth around a fire.  As I browsed through the available movies and shows, I recalled of my brother mentioning how much he liked the British TV show Sherlock. I had somewhat being skeptical about it in the past, but on the plane, with the battery of my laptop dead, that was really my only option. So Sherlock had been. For three hours. Great, witty, cunning and engaging to the point that I would have not minded stretching the flight all the way to South Africa if that would have allowed me to go through the first season. But the light of dawn was creeping through my lowered blind and the flight attendants were rushing through the cabin to wake up unwilling passengers to obey the obscure set of rules that precede every landing. Arm rest down, seat belt fastened, seat straight up, blind open. Obey! It wasn’t long before they part me and my beloved Sherlock. A three hours long love affair abruptly interrupted. I was forced out of the window again. In the renewed light of the day the landscape was green all around. Small dusty roads cut the forest to link small villages of shiny aluminum roofs. Buildings after all and cultivated fields, signs of a somewhat encouraging human presence that never seemed real in any of the documentaries I watched. Far away, the flat line of an immense stretch of water took over the horizon and as the plane approached, small boats, tiny ports and the distinctive red and white colors that adorn every airport in the world. The land replaced the water and, in turn, the tarmac the dirt and the patches of green.  As we approached the runaway, the shadow of the plane stretched closer and the soil shone in the sun of an unfamiliar, distinctively brown color. A different land indeed but one more welcoming than any that had hosted me before.

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