Friday, February 5, 2010
I never really knew what the band Golden Earring was talking about when they sang their hit "Radar Love" until I was sitting on a double prop plane preparing for a flight from Hanoi to Laos. Knowledge is a wonderful thing unless the retained information consists of something along the lines of: "Did you know that the entire country of Laos has no radar and that pilots land the planes using sight alone?" I am sorry, could you repeat that...I thought you said that an entire nation does not have radar. Is that possible in 2010? I have no idea, but it is difficult to shake a statement like that once it has been introduced to my anxiety-ridden thoughts . So, I sat on a cramped plane with two propellers, palms sweating, trying to look confident to my fellow passengers as I rapidly chewed all of the spearmint taste out of my gum. I eventually felt more at ease once the plane took off and levelled at its cruising altitude. That is, until Mariana and I were served our mystery sanwiches, fruit, and cake in a beautiful white box that said..."Laos Airlines - You're Safe With Us".
What the hell do you mean "You're Safe With Us"? I am no marketing major, but I think the PR department from Laos Airlines needs to go back to the drawing board. Let me explain.
My mind tends to wander when I hear disturbing slogans like that, and I add things like:
*Naw..."You're Safe With Us"
*Don't Worry..."You're Safe With Us"
*It's OK..."You're Safe With Us"
*I don't know where you heard that from, but..."You're Safe With Us"
*The UN said what..."You're Safe With Us"
*Pay no attention to our casualty statistics..."You're Safe With Us"
*That was months ago..."You're Safe With Us"
After a very long hour and fifteen minutes, we made a very hard and fast landing, stepped off the runway, entered the airport that reminded me of a dated Burger King in Port Aransas, and successfully received our visas. Welcome to Laos!