Appetiser for destruction

From ‘ 新航提供‘醉鸡’ 乘客担心坠机’, 12 Dec 2010, article in omy.sg (LHWB)

一名新加坡航空公司乘客申诉,在从新加坡飞往上海的班机,所提供的开胃菜“醉鸡”与“坠机”谐音,让他一路大感不吉利,足足5小时起鸡皮疙瘩、忐忑不安,直到飞机安然降陆才放心!

卓佳强是在本月3日搭乘SQ836到上海。他在投给《联合早报》的函件中,叙述这段经历。他说,飞机起飞后,他翻阅菜单的中餐部分,惊见“醉鸡”是开胃菜,“吓了一跳”。根据他的说法,“醉鸡”与“坠机”谐音,一般上华人为朋友饯行时,都避开这道江南小菜“醉鸡”。

卓佳强指出,这个航班服务的主要是中国旅客,用如此“不吉利”的菜肴为开胃菜很不恰当。

They served this on 9/11

Translation: A business class passenger with SIA got the shock of his life upon being served a drunken chicken appetiser on board, which in Chinese is the phonetic equivalent of ‘dropping out of an airplane’. The very inauspiciousness of the dish turned the writer into a nervous wreck for the remaining 5 hours of the flight, suggesting that, with a clientele of mostly Chinese passengers, SIA should take this har-winger of ultimate disaster off the menu.

And all this while I thought SIA’s business class caters to intelligent men of exquisite taste and discerning pleasures, not country bumpkin soothsayers who subscribe to pagan superstitions, numerology and the belief that a poorly named poultry dish will wrench the stars out of their alignment and lay an infernal curse on the engines of an airplane. Imagine the sheer pants-wetting anxiety of such complainants whenever they encounter something on a menu that foreshadows imminent death wherever they go, be it a Swensen’s ‘Earthquake’ ice cream on the top floor of a shopping mall or ‘Shark’s Fin’ on a sailboat. Even if you serve them rice and soggy cabbage instead to ward off any evil lurking in those inflight food trolleys, such people will see patterns emerging from the remnants of their meal that resemble nothing less than skull and crossbones, or a apocalyptic picture of biblical devastation, hellish fire, brimstone and all. We already have passengers complaining that inflight food is too boring, yet when you style it up a bit and give it fancy gourmet names, they blame you for portending doom for all on board. Superstitious passengers should just spend the entirety of their flight time with their eye-masks on, headsets tuned to the spa channel and starve themselves, preferably to death before suffering a far worse fate of a crash orchestrated by an evil drunken chicken. Top contender of the Most Kiasi complaint award.

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