PRE FLIGHT DRINKS
|BOOZE TO FINISH|
I was returning back to Saudi Arabia from Montreal. I was attending an IATA think tank, to update the Dangerous Goods Manual. Why I was sent there I will never know?. I was asked if I would attend and there was no way I would turn down a jolly outside of the Kingdom. I could just turn up and act intelligent and every now and again try and contribute something, anything to justify my place. I would write a report that I knew nobody would read and if they did I would add some technical details and they would soon get bored.
I reached the airport and found that the flight was delayed for a few hours. That was ok by me, I had three quarters of a litre of Jack Daniels to finish, which I could not (officially) take on board with me.
When you are at any airport in the world going back to Saudi Arabia you are guaranteed to meet someone you know or have seen who is also returning. This was no exception and I met a couple of other guys and like me they were trying to finish off their supplies before getting on the plane.
The sad situation is that all us expatriates seemed to think that it was our duty to get as much alcohol down our throats in the departure bar. We then have to rush in extreme panic trying to make boarding after last calls have been made and all our names have been called.
This developed into one heavy session, all the bottles of spirits were being consumed and washed down with beers. We were a rowdy bunch.
Last calls were made and I shot off to the gift shop to get some presents to take back for Shellhunter and Flycasual. They always got much bigger presents after such drinking sessions. My defences were down.
The next thing I remember is waking up on the plane and we were about to land in Jeddah. I don't remember boarding or going to my seat. There was no sign of my hand luggage or the gifts I had bought. I must have put them all in the luggage racks. Or did I leave everything at the airport, I just did not know?.
I waited until it was clear and looked into the luggage racks nearby and there was no sign of anything. I was cursing, how could I have been so stupid. That is it,
'I will never again drink before getting on a plane'.
I decided to look in some more compartments and to my extreme relief there was everything about 3 or 4 rows behind me. I could have kissed a Stewardess.
It never fails to amaze me how you can function 'itelligently' and not be aware of what you are doing. Some part of your brain just switches off due to the excess alcohol and another part takes over and puts you into some sort of auto pilot.
I later found out that one of my session guys fell asleep at the bar and did not make the flight. (lightweight)