The flight up to Cairns last Tuesday was more entertaining than usual. The middle seats in my part of the cabin were occupied by a very large extended Indian family, about a dozen of them and at least three generations were along for the trip, obviously a big family outing. QANTAS were a bit slow off the mark with breakfast which the family declined by repeating loudly the word 'Vegetarian' several times. The steward acknowledged their preference and made soothing noises about getting them some breakfast when they'd served everyone else. I was a bit bemused by the whole thing because there was nothing on my tray that could have been remotely offensive to a vegetarian, not unless they've started putting meat into breakfast cereal. OK, so the milk and the yoghurt had probably been close to a cow but that was about it.
Half an hour or so later the family was thrilled to be served their vegetarian breakfast. I glanced across to see what they were eating and noted with interest that it was exactly the same as my breakfast. I guess it's all in the timing.
I was also very glad I wasn't sitting in front of them because the children were a complete pain, getting in and out of the seats on a regular basis, putting the table up and down incessantly and hanging on the back of the seat. One of the guys in front eventually asked their parents (very politely too) to control them - which they then finally did. After we landed I noted he was reading a book by the Dalai Lama which explains his superhuman degree of tolerance. I'd have murdered them somewhere over Caboolture if it had been me.