I’m not meaning to make light of world hunger, because it’s no doubt a serious problem, hence my dilemma here.
Just about every time I post pictures of my travels in international first and business class, someone comes along and asks “how do you not gain weight when traveling?” Well, the simple answer is that I do gain weight when I travel.
In a way, travel is a small part of my “job.” In a twisted, joking, tongue-in-cheek manner I think of myself as going to work when I go to the airport. And I’m writing this on my way to Melbourne Airport, where I have to work a grueling 24 hour shift all the way to London on an Airbus 380 in first class, but only after getting a massage in the Qantas first class lounge. 😉
Part of that “job,” as I see it, is sampling as much of the menu as possible. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think my trip reports would be very interesting if I slept the whole way, didn’t eat anything, and didn’t interact with the flight attendants. My trip reports would probably be around two sentences long if I did, which I realize probably sounds like a dream come true to some of you.
As a matter of fact, I would argue that the meal “experience” is what differentiates first class from business class, given that most business class seats nowadays are perfectly comfortable for sleeping. I say meal “experience” as opposed to meal service because it’s not just the food that differentiates first class from business class, but also the small touches and service, which can be experienced during the meal service. That would be things along the lines of the precision with which the flight attendants set your table, to how they address you, to the use of “you’re welcome” vs. “my pleasure.”
Anyway, back to the main topic. There’s no way to fully partake in an international first class meal experience (let alone four in a row) and not a) gain weight and b) feel sick to your stomach.
So that raises the question, is it okay to “waste” food in international first class? I’ve always been a huge proponent of not wasting food. My mom always told me about the “starving children in Africa” (though in retrospect she referred to them a lot more when trying to convince me to eat vegetables as opposed to dessert), so if I order something, I always eat it.
At the same time, on an airplane, the food is already loaded, so if I don’t eat it, it ends up in the trash, or I suppose the crew might end up eating it. On the ground, on the other hand, if I don’t eat something, another customer will, be it a minute later or a day later. In other words, is it okay to order the full menu in first class, have a few bites of everything, and then call it quits?
If the answer is “yes,” then great, I have my new strategy. If the answer is “no,” then I’m not sure whether I’m better off stuffing myself like a bear acting as a decorative piece in Sarah Palin’s living room or just not eating a whole lot.
I’m actually excited to get back home, go the gym every day, and eat healthy (given that the culinary delights within a five-mile radius of my house are limited to Chilis, Macaroni Grill, TGI Fridays, and Olive Garden (I’m mentally blocking out Red Lobster, since cheddar bay biscuits are my vice… mmm).