The other day I made a shocking discovery. I had always fancied myself as a first-class sort of girl. Someone who would be at home amongst the swank and swarve, the perks that first-class travel brings. Seats that lie flat like a bed, for instance. The ability to move about the cabin at whim.
To my horror, I have realised that I am not at home with those perks. In fact, I'm not sure I ever want to travel first-class again.
Last week the eldest of our junior recipe testers made a rather shocking discovery of his own. It is in fact possible to get your elbow to bend in the wrong direction. If you fall awkwardly off your bike. And land even more awkwardly between the bike and the gutter. In extreme situations, it will not go back of its own accord.
This particular discovery required an ambulance and emergency surgery. I am pleased to report that his elbow now faces the right way, and he is bonding with the rather significant cast he needs to wear for quite some weeks. He spent two nights in hospital getting everything sorted out, and therefore, so did the senior recipe tester and I. We each spent one night in a room with one of our dearest, and ten others we did not know so well.
It was during my stay on an orthopaedic children's ward that I discovered my dislike for first-class travel. When one travels first class, one has a smaller number of people with which to share the cabin than in economy. About ten or eleven, say.
In first class, one is able to recline the seat so that it lies flat. Lying flat is a far more comfortable position to sleep in than sitting up. It helps with relaxation. This may be particularly so for the muscles of the throat and tongue. Once relaxed, the tongue is more likely to fall back and compress the airway. This causes snoring.
One of my fellow passengers found the lie-down chair extremely relaxing indeed. Well before we had reached cruising altitude, he had reached tractor pitch. We harvested a great many paddocks before dawn.
In first class one is able to move about the cabin with relative ease. This right was exercised during the night by one of my fellow passengers, no doubt distracting herself from the desperation of still being awake. Or perhaps to check on the progress of the tractor.
In any case, during the 45 seconds she was out of the cabin her junior recipe tester woke up. Realising that she wasn't by his side, perhaps understandably, caused quite some distress. Given that we were then all awake, a number of passengers decided to exercise their right to move about the cabin.
No, I am not a first-class girl. I do not wish to share with a relatively small number of passengers. And I do not want them to be able to leave the confines of their bolt upright seat.