Okay, so I didn’t end up making it to Polishfest this past weekend. I was kept quite busy with other things. However, I did remember another thing I wanted to post about, something sort of Poland-related.
My flight to and from Poland was nine hours. This meant I was obviously going to be eating on the plane. Gross.
Unfortunately, with all the new regulations on pastes and liquids, I find it harder than ever to pack my own food for the plane. I suppose I should be really happy that things were more lax when I flew to Hawaii in 2002 with my jaw wired shut and a bag full of cans of Ensure and V-8.
More and more airlines are starting to offer a gluten-free meal as an option alongside the kosher and vegetarian/vegan meals. This is very cool. When I flew Air Italia, I think I got a salad, a piece of cheese, an apple and a rice cake. Not great, but at least it was all stuff I could eat.
Sadly, Polish Air (LOT) does not offer this option. But what I’ve learned from other trips to other locales is that if all else fails, you should always go for the vegetarian/vegan option. Don’t ask me why, but it almost always seems better than the regular meals. A flight to California one year turned up a nice little veggie curry with a pack of steamed rice. Indian fast food is still preferable to say, a calzone or salisbury steak.
After traveling all week and eating lots of cabbage and meat, I was pretty stoked for the little salad I got on the flight home. It was surprisingly not terrible – it even had pea shoots and orange slices in it. I was also served some sort of rattatouille with rice that was also not terrible. I just didn’t eat the two slices of bread and chocolate wafers I kept being served.
I’d actually along some instant Thai soup to eat on the flight to Warsaw, but was confounded when I realized that almost no one on my flight out of JFK spoke much English, making it difficult for me to explain I just wanted some boiling water. Also, for some reason, they’d pre-made the tea rather than just giving each passenger a cup of hot water and a tea bag.
So that’s my tip. If you can’t get a gluten-free airplane meal and it’s going to be hard to bring things with you, order the vegan meal.
One final note : one of the coolest things about international flights is that the wine, beer and liquor is complimentary. Sweet!