September 26th, 1989
Night flight from AUH – DEL
And now to India, after a very eventful twenty-four hours in Abu Dhabi, where we wasted no time checking into the hotel, changing and heading out again with most of our crew. Including Simon, the First Officer.
“Sorry you didn’t make it to the bar in KL,” he said, while we made our way to Safari (aka the hotel disco.)
“Oh, Simon, I’m so glad you brought that up. I ought to give you those drinks vouchers back.”
“Whatever for?” he asked, sounding smug.
“Just in case you want to pass them onto someone else.” I smiled and made sure he was looking at me. “Like, Mavis, for example.”
He didn’t utter a word, stepped up his gait and caught up with some of the guys on our crew.
In Safari, the VIP area was roped off and Laney asked Mavis if she’d heard about “The Boxes.”
We clued Mavis in and her response was outrage, shock and indignation. Until the first box arrived.
“Can I take a peek?” Mavis asked, taking the Cartier box from the outstretched hand of the man sent to deliver such.
“Don’t you dare!” yelled Laney.
Mavis reluctantly passed the box back to the short man. He looked at me.
“No thank you,” I said, holding up my hand.
Laney jumped up. “Don’t come back,” she hissed, towering over him. “Do you understand?”
He bowed and scurried off.
“That was horrible,” Mavis said sounding perturbed.
“I know,” Laney said, “but we can’t afford to get tied up in any of that.”
When we were on the dance floor, several hours later, we watched as “the courier,” approached a group of girls who’d just arrived in the club.
“What do you think they’ll do?” Mavis asked.
“Hopefully the right thing,” I said.
One of the girls, a very tall blonde, gleefully removed a jewel-encrusted bangle from the box and slipped it on her wrist.
“That’s interesting,” I said.
“What?” Mavis asked.
“They usually start with earrings first.”
“Maybe she’s been here before,” Mavis suggested. “Do you think those girls are crew?”
“They don’t look like BA crew,” said Laney.
“Regardless,” I said. “We should go over and fill them in.”
We spent the rest of the night with the girls who, it turns out, were Australian models on a magazine shoot. They were more than happy that we approached them to explain what might be expected if they were to accept the Cartier boxes. In fact we ended up having such a fun time with them that we didn’t leave the club‘ til five this morning!
Laney and Mavis came back to my room, where we lounged for the rest of the day. We did consider going out but the lovely air conditioning was blasting and the room service choices at the Abu Dhabi Hilton are fab.
Sadly, Mavis was rostered to fly back to London with another crew but at least she didn’t leave with any extra jewelry!