Monday, May 25, 2009

Prudence, not Tango

When we went to Buenos Aires in February this year, our plane had a problem on takeoff. A rather loud "bump" was heard around the mid-section of the plane.

The pilot assured everyone that they were "looking into the matter" with the control tower and that "all their systems appeared normal".

Then, about half an hour to forty-five minutes after takeoff, there was a little bit of bad news (yes, just a teensy bit - because Air Canada doesn't want their passengers to be in any way alarmed). Namely, that -

The control tower has reviewed the footage of our take-off, which revealed sparks coming out of the plane's engine. We are turning back to the airport now to have things checked out.

It got mighty quiet in the cabin. Perhaps some people were praying, or wishing they had written their will, or wondering who they wanted to call in their last moments.

The parents of a young female former colleague of mine had a very clever way of dealing with potential disasters like this. Whenever the family traveled, they never traveled together - Mom will take one flight; Dad, another - and the sisters would also travel separately. On different days. On different airlines. That way, the probability of the whole family being killed all at once would be pretty damn near close to nil. Someone should benefit from all that life insurance - and god forbid if it was not the closest next-of-kin!

However, such ingenious strategems fall strictly in the realm of "Prudence", and not "Tango". "Tango" would be more like Man Yung's attitude during the flight back to the airport. He held my hand, looked into my eyes meanfully, and said:

"It doesn't matter what happens. I'm not afraid of anything because we're together."
*

The flight returned back to Pearson Airport safe and sound - although the landing was rather rough and people were applauding the fact that we landed in one piece.**


* For the record, I wasn't afraid either. I was too busy thinking about the number of pairs of Comme Il Fauts I was going to buy on this trip. And also whether I was going to be able to connect to the internet using the hotel's WiFi with my new Acer Aspire One netbook. But shhhhhh! Don't tell Man Yung!

** And Air Canada compensated us with one night's hotel (actually, more like four hours) and a coupon for $75.00 off our next flight. We were off on another flight the following morning - but we missed a whole day of our trip because of the delay.

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Alberto Dassieu

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