Apocryphal tale of the week? Sydney Airport, terrorism and the frozen croissant.
It was one of those days that stretched on forever – literally. Today started early on Saturday morning with a very late Super Shuttle to Denver Airport from my hotel for a three hour flight to LAX, where I had a 5 hour layover until I jumped on Virgin’s excellent Boeing 777 service to Sydney.
I’d been in Denver on a quick trip to attend and present at the 35th annual meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology at the must-see-when-you-are-in-that-town Denver Botanic Gardens. You can see more on what we got up to here.
My trip home somehow became a “let’s sample croissants as and where we find ‘em” sorta day, starting off with a beautifully light, fluffy and just-so buttery sample dunked into a lovely double-shot espresso from the Dazbog Coffee shop in the Denver suburb of Cherry Creek (Bolshevik coffee? That’s right – you can see their propaganda here).
I had another – a nice almond croissant that was a bargain at $2.00 from the chain boulangerie at the top of the stairs in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX that was chased down with a good double-shot.
It is good to see that Americans are finally starting to “get” real coffee – it’s been a long strange trip and they still have a long way to go but the default coffee in the States is no longer a 16 ounce ounce jug of tepid dishwater …
Fourteen hours later I landed in Sydney on a bright-cool Monday morning and shuttle-bussed through the perennial Sydney Airport traffic jam (at 7am FFS!) from the International terminal to the Virgin gates at T2.
Now it gets interesting.
Or really dumb. Take your pick.
I’m wandering around the airport-as-shopping-mall that is T2 and see a very nice looking stack of croissants in a glass display counter at a coffee shop.
What-the-hey? I’m up for a bit of comparative price & taste testing and for the third time in my day I order a nice looking croissant and a double shot back.
All up my coffee and pastry costs me twice what I paid at LAX and Dazbog in Denver but thats a story for another day.
I shuffle along to the pick up zone and do a little banter with the young woman behind the counter until I notice that my croissant is being loaded into an oven.
“Unh, I don’t want my croissant warmed up.” I say.
She tells me that they have to warm them up because all the pastries have to be refrigerated.
I shrug my shoulders in a go-figure kind of way. I’m too stuffed to argue.
“It’s terrorism.” she says. “The croissants have to be refrigerated because Sydney Airport says that if they aren’t then they could be used by terrorists. So we have to refrigerate them.”
That comment went through to the keeper until “terrorism” & “croissant” fell together in the back-blocks of my jet-lagged brain as unlikely companions.
“What did you say?”
“The croissants. We have to heat them up because Sydney Airport says so. It’s a terrorist thing.”
Now I was thinking more about the four-hour flight ahead of me to get home to Darwin and maybe that the whole conversation was a gigantic pulling-of-my-one -good-leg but … maybe there was something in it?
The java was fine. The almond croissant was a tad too big and had a little too much of the not-quite-right butter.
A 7 out of 10 at best.
And the terrorist/croissant thing?
I don’t know.
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