Flatulence Terror and The Anti-Diplomat

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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The plane that will soon be filled with noxious cabbage fumes.

As I wander down to the immigration queue I'm still recovering from the ordeal of the flight from Bangkok. I'd like to make it clear that I was very impressed with Cathay Pacific's service - they were efficient and wonderfully friendly. No, the problem was the silent but deadly cabbage flatulence that some evil lunatic chose to unleash at regular intervals into the pressurised plane cabin.

As far as I'm concerned, in the wrong anus, human waste gas can be a weapon of mass destruction - my blitzed nasal passages can attest to that. I suspect it was the Indian guy in front of me, but I've no proof. Whoever it was, it smelt like someone had chomped through a whole fridgeful of soggy, out of date coleslaw, let it ferment in their stomach for a month and then expelled it noiselessly at 30,000 feet, where his victims, including yours truly, had no chance of escape short of popping an Emergency hatch and taking their chances with freefall.

My passport mugshot - snapped 8 years back. Not a surprise that immigration folks find it a little difficult to reconcile it with my current, rather more weather-beaten, appearance.

Anyway, such a heinous and prolonged gas attack has severely befuddled my senses, thus I'm a little discombobulated when I hear the following vociferous outburst:

“Listen - you've made a big mistake my Communist friend. A big mistake! Why did you take me off the plane?”

To my right in the Arrivals hall, a standoff is taking place between a small American guy and an even smaller female airport staffie. She is trying to talk to him and lead him quietly away, but he's having none of it. Other, more beefy, security staff are on the scene but seem unwilling to get physically involved in dragging the Yank off somewhere more private.

I shrug and make my way to the immigration queue where some lovely French accordion music is being piped in. Over the top of the soothing, but slightly surreal Gallic tunes that have me daydreaming of baguettes, garlic and the Eiffel Tower, I can still hear the American loudly repeating the same objections over and again, working himself into a frenzy in his efforts to do his bit for international diplomacy:

“Why did you take me off the plane? You had no right my Communist friend! No right!”

They probably removed him because he was piss-drunk and aggro, I muse. Just like now. I reach the front of the queue after five minutes more of the stimulating aural mash up of Yank shouting and Franco-accordion stylings. The immigration officer eyes me up with a frown, glancing between my passport photo and my face. She's clearly not convinced that we are one and the same; fair enough considering that the photo was taken nine years ago. I've had a tough life since then I tell thee...

Her strategy for deciding whether or not I am the real me is to pose a cunning security question that only the genuine article would know:

“What is your name?”

The Hong Kong immigration service are clearly on the ball. I'm so surprised at the question that I actually pause before telling her, probably confirming her suspicion that I'm travelling under a crafty food-based alias.

“David Salad,” I reply. “My Communist friend,” I don't add.

She seems satisfied enough and I'm stamped in and heading for the bright lights of the big city whilst, behind me, our noisy pal from the States explodes in a messy welter of booze and self-righteousness - quelle honte monsieur, quelle honte!

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The plane that will soon be filled…
The plane that will soon be fille…
My passport mugshot - snapped 8 ye…
My passport mugshot - snapped 8 y…