My sons are in Tokyo at the moment, which got me thinking about my years in Japan. I adore the place. Here’s a piece I wrote during my time there…
I look like Marlene Deitrich and Jodie Foster…sometimes one, sometimes the other…or perhaps a cross of both. I know I look like these two Hollywood stars because I have been told so. Constantly. So many times over the course of five years in Japan that I was tempted to start working as a celebrity double. Fortunately two factors stop me from completely believing my own press: I have eyes and I own a mirror. While I would love to resemble either of these great beauties (especially Marlene and preferably before she died) I don’t. I know I don’t. Not even on a good day, or when I’m roaring drunk. I simply understand that the Japanese need to connect you in some way to a Hollywood star.
I’ve just finished reading 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family’s Journey Around the World, about the Higham family’s one-year travel journey.
There was a brief moment at the start of the book where I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it. John Higham, his wife, September, and their two kids, Katrina (11) and Jordan (8) had been planning and saving for this trip for years. The family of four started out on tandem bikes: one parent on front, one kid peddling behind. And while I absolutely admired them for doing so, I quickly decided the book might not be for me. Cycling just doesn’t reel me in.
But then (*SPOILER ALERT*)…
Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant walked the fine line between an entertaining memoir and a bitter hatchet job on an ex employer, and for the most part it walked that line well. It’s a chatty and interesting look into a fascinating world, and how that world has changed.
Owen Beddall was a Qantas flight attendant for 15 years before a work injury saw the company he loved turn on him. He lifts the lid on the flight attendant lifestyle: the exotic destinations and five star hotels; the parties, drugs and celebrity gossip.
As a traveller, I found the different routes fascinating; I loved reading about the countries Owen based himself in and the hierarchy for different flights. It’s clear this is Beddall’s revenge on Qantas, and at times that’s a little uncomfortable, but mostly I enjoyed reading about the company ethics, workplace politics and what goes on in the galley while we passengers are belted into our seats.
Reading Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant was like sitting down with a gay friend and a bottle of Chardonnay as he related all his fabulous tales to you. When I saw the thanks to the ghost writer in the acknowledgements I wondered if that’s what actually happened—she just transcribed what Beddall said over a bottle of vino. It had that flow to it. It was conversational and reeled you in.
There were bits I skipped over, and I would’ve liked to read more about Beddall’s background, but overall it was a thoroughly entertaining read.
I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.