Meal Allowance

Euro, Great Britain Pound, Yen, Dollar, Rupee, Remnibi, Swiss Franc, Malaysian Ringgit, Bhatt, Peso, Rouble.

After switching off 78 call buttons, 12 hours of smiling, 45 min of delay due to technical problems, 34 glasses of water requests, 180 food trays, you finally get to see the colour of your hard work. It comes in a sealed enveloppe and its handed to you by the receptionist at the hotel. You get the same feeling when it’s chinese new year and the elders give you the famous hong bao. For those who don’t know the feeling, it’s like Christmas on the 6th of June or any other date except the 25th of December. But don’t be in a hurry to grab it and vanish in the lift. Seniority prevails and the most junior get theirs last. 

You take your enveloppe and go to your room. You throw yourself on that bed because your body can’t handle it anymore. Finally! A bed and some rest. But then your stomach starts growling and you remember sleep is something you will only achieve once you’ve stuffed yourself with food. You open your enveloppe and the cursor on the scale of happiness drops from 130 to 0 in 1 second. 

They can’t expect me to live off that for the day. Thats how much I spent on my last coco mademoiselle. I need way more not only for food but to compensate for all the bruises from the carts, the rudeness of the passengers and the last bit of humanity I lost on this flight. We’re not entitled to a paid breakfast but at least a foot massage should be included with the room. If my toes were not painted right now I wouldn’t know I have two feet. 

A quick glance at the in room dining tells me the crew discount will only pay the tax. My first thought is Et tu Cæsar? when I see the price of his salad. That can’t be it for some lettuce, anchoives, breadcrumbs and salad dressing. Wait, there’s a charge for the tray. WTH? That’s the reason why we can’t fight hunger on this planet. 

I don’t know how many newtons I am left with but I drag my corpse out of the room to find some food at a reasonable price. 

Hopefully there are a few cafés close to the hotel. Chez Suzette, Eric Keyser, Bagel and Co. So many choices. I don’t know where to sit. But then my eyes catch the crème de la crème of places to be. 

I’ll have one capuccino, strawberry macaron and chocolate truffle please. Do you have this lipgloss in red velvet? Make it one capucino eyeshadow and one in the cinnamon shade. I know I shouldn’t be here. But how can you skip a SEPHORA on sale? 

Zara, Forever 21, American Apparel, Accesorize, New Look, Banana Republic. This job is ruining me. I need to stop it. I’ll have one of the oat meals or a pot noodle I have for emergencies like these one in my cabin bag. 

I’ll get some sleep first. Don’t worry about your already empty enveloppe. That’s what credit cards are for. Sales are life threatening emergencies you need to treat with the most care. Get some rest and continue the shopping frenzy later.

Money does not buy happiness but the exchange rate of foreign currencies surely does.


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