Saturday 03 December 2016

The Not-Very-Ironed Curtain.

I find myself today on British Airway flight 308 en route to Paris, sitting in the the second row of "World Traveller" (that would be "Economy" in any other language - with its quick "snack and a drink"), while the stewardess has just come to draw the curtain that separates our seats from the rarified world of "Club World" (that would be "Business Class" - the land, as announced on the tannoy, of "Cold cuts and Champagne"). I watched those in the row in front of me laughing at the absurdity of this not-so-ironed curtain as it was drawn across, peering through the gaps between the seats, and pulling the curtain gently aside. And in a post-brexit/Trump world, I found myself too questioning and viewing this curtain in a new way.
I have absolutely no problem with wealthy travellers paying over the odds for a larger seat, knives, forks and table cloths. I myself have not infrequently enjoyed such largesse. In fact, if not for my Britsh Airways Silver-Member-Card-of-wonderment-and-free-use-of-lounges, I would probably have paid the extra £100 I was quoted to fly there today. 
But why the curtain? Why the need for those in the front to be separated from every one else?  Is it there so they don't see us, or we don't see them? Is such a bubble healthy? Before the recent political upheavals I would never have looked twice at this curtain and its slight absurdity.  But maybe I shoud have done; and for that, at least, I should be thankful.
As I write we are preparing for landing and the curtain has been withdrawn. If only divided nations could be healed as quickly.