Raj’s younger sister, Rani went to hairdressing and beauty therapy college after finishing high school. To celebrate her graduation, Rani’s parents treated her to a business class trip to London provided she stayed with her family there. Her aunt and uncle had migrated to the UK a few years after her parents migrated to Australia but she had never met them or her cousins.
Rani was thrilled to head off on her great adventure. With airfares paid by her parents and free accommodation in London all she needed was enough money for local travel, eating out and sightseeing. She had saved this while studying, by working part-time in a salon owned by a friend of one of her teachers. She started by just sweeping up and cleaning equipment. Soon she was allowed to move on to shampooing and assisting the professional hairdressers.
As she re-boarded QF1 at Singapore airport after a refuelling stopover, she was ushered to her seat by Emily, one of the business class cabin crew. “Welcome on board Miss Chandra. I will be your attendant for this flight, please call me Emily. Can I get you Champagne, orange juice or something else?”
After take-off, the attendants were in the galley preparing drinks and snacks when Emily was approached by her colleague Daniel. “Em, how about swapping aisles with me. There’s a professional tennis player in 2A that might take your fancy.”
“That’s thoughtful of you Dan.”
“You know me Em, always looking after your needs.”
“Maybe, but might this have anything to do with the tall, dark haired, generously breasted woman in 3E?”
“Yes Dan, and I know you are always looking after your own needs as well.”
“So is it a deal Em?”
“Why not, I need someone to keep me busy on our three day layover and I don’t fancy you.”
“Thanks Em, you’re all heart.”
“Good evening Miss Chandra.” Daniel said as he lowered the tray table and set down a glass of champagne and a plate of canapés.
“Thank you ah....”
“Daniel Miss, I will be taking care of you on this flight. Enjoy your drink and I will be back shortly to take your meal order.” He said as he flashed his best smile.
About three hours out of Singapore, the first meal was finished and the cabin lights were being dimmed for those passengers that wanted to nap or watch a movie. Daniel quietly approached Rani with another glass of champagne.
“Did I order this?”
“No, I just thought you might like it anyway. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“No thanks Daniel, I’m fine.”
“How about I pull this curtain for you so that you have a bit more privacy?”
“Thank you, that would be great. I suppose you get a chance to have a rest also while the passengers are napping.”
“Oh we have things to do but I am free to chat for now, if you want to.”
“I don’t want to keep you from your duties.”
“Not at all, it will be my pleasure.” Then after a short pause. “Did you know that this low lighting was designed to simulate the softness of candlelight? Without the flickering , of course.”
“I didn’t know that, but I suppose it is like that.”
“Yes, candlelight relaxes people and does not overstimulate the brain and so puts people in a comfort zone.”
“I hadn’t thought of it that way but I know candlelight is romantic.”
“So, we think alike on this.” He replied and flashed that smile again.
After another champagne top-up and more chat-up, Daniel took Rani by the hand and said “Would you like to come with me and I will show you around the aircraft.” He led her a few steps down the aisle, through the galley and into the staff rest area.
“What are we doing here?” asked Rani.
“I thought you might like to see our mile high club.”
“Oh really! And this is it. I thought that sort of thing happened in the toilets.”
“Well in economy class it might, but on this long-haul aircraft we have this cabin.” It was a small cabin with two sets of double bunks, some hanging space for uniforms and grooming facilities.
“Obviously for modern security reasons I can’t take you to meet the Captain but this is my cockpit.”
Rani smiled at this and asked “Does that line really work?”
“That’s up to you to prove or not.” Daniel replied, as he took a folded blanket from the bunks, leaned around the curtain and placed it outside the curtain. That was the signal to his colleagues that they were not to be disturbed. As he leaned forward his pants tightened enough for Rani to notice the full rounded shape of his butt. This sight sent a message to her loins, which in turn forwarded the message to her brain that she verbalised as “Hot buns”.
“Thank you for noticing.”
The couple emerged twenty minutes later and as they walked back through the galley the other attendants averted their eyes and carried on as normal. Daniel accompanied Rani to her seat, gave her a big smile and returned to the galley to assist his colleagues prepare for the next meal service.
For the rest of the flight Daniel was the perfect flight attendant and just before preparing the cabin for landing they swapped phone numbers and Daniel asked what hotel Rani was staying at.
“Well, I’m actually staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Bromley.”
“That’s a fair way out. I’ll give you a call and we can catch up in the city.”
“I would like that Daniel. I don’t know anyone in London. I haven’t even met my aunt and uncle or my cousins.”
“How long will you be staying in London?”
“A month is the plan so I have plenty of time for sightseeing.”
“That’s great, but can I ask that you give me your first three days then I’m back to Oz. But I will be back again in 10 days.”
“I don’t want to ignore my family, but I’ll see if I can manage it.”
“Will they meet you at Heathrow?”
“Of course, they wouldn’t let me try to find my way around on my own on my first day.”
As Rani disembarked, Daniel did the professional Thank you for flying Qantas etc.. and they went their separate ways. Rani was met by her aunt and uncle, and taken out to their home in Bromley, about an hour’s drive from Heathrow. They were very welcoming and when the cousins came home later in the day they welcomed her with their plans to take her sightseeing over the next week. She wanted to follow up on Daniel’s request to spend time with him but she was also acutely aware of her responsibility to spend her first days with her family.
Daniel called her the next morning. “Hi Rani, it’s Daniel, how was it meeting your family here for the first time?”
“It’s been great. They are very welcoming and my cousins have lots of plans for me.”
“So when will I get to see you; how about dinner tonight?”
“I’m sorry Daniel, but there is a big family dinner planned for tonight, and I really don’t think I can get away while you are here.”
“I’m really disappointed to hear that Rani, I was so looking forward to showing you my favourite spots in London. Are you sure you couldn’t spare even one day for me?”
“As much as I would like to Daniel, family is very important in our culture and it would be considered rude of me to refuse them, especially as they are being so generous to accommodate me for a whole month and it is my first time to meet them. I really can’t get away right now.”
“Well, I’m disappointed Rani. I hope you enjoy your stay in London.” He said tersely, and hung up without giving her a chance to reply. Rani just stared at the Call Ended message on her phone and wondered if she should call him back but decided against it.
Her cousin Duresh, overheard part of the conversation and asked “Do you know someone here in London?”
“Oh that was just the cabin attendant from my flight.”
“Why did they call, did you leave something on the plane?”
“No, it was a personal call, he wanted to have dinner with me.”
“That’s a bit presumptuous of him, isn’t it, not to mention unprofessional.”
“Not really, he was very courteous to me on the flight and we did get to know each other a bit. I would like to see him again.”
“I wouldn’t recommend it Rani. You know what these flyboys are like, a girl in every port. Here today gone tomorrow to move onto another conquest.”
“That’s very cynical Duresh. He’s a very pleasant guy and I enjoyed his company on the long flight.”
“How much enjoyment, may I ask?”
“That’s really none of your business.”
“Oh you’re a bit defensive cousin. What are you not telling me?”
“Precisely, I’m not telling you.”
True to her word, Rani did spend the first week of her London stay exclusively with her family. When Daniel returned to London ten days later, he called her and was determined not to take no for an answer. But that was not necessary as Rani had been waiting and hoping for his call. On Daniel’s three day layover they visited many London highlights and made love in a few of them, including the top level of a London bus.
In the last week of Rani’s month in London, Daniel was again due for another layover and he wanted to make it very special for Rani. He booked tickets on the Eurostar train and a two night stay in Paris. On that stay Rani fell in love with the city of love and with Daniel. Their union was consummated a few times over those two days including on the Eurostar and the Eiffel tower.
Rani had left Sydney as a rather innocent young woman with very little sexual experience but returned as a confident worldly woman who had developed a taste for sex in exotic places.
Shortly after returning from London, Rani secured her first full-time position at the salon where she worked part-time while training. She settled in well, loved the work and was popular with the clients. Her employer Sandra, mentored her, was very pleased with her work and could see that Rani had management potential.
Three months after meeting Daniel, Rani introduced him to her family. Her parents were at first not happy with her dating a man outside their culture and this bothered Rani until she came up with a plan.
Over dinner one evening she said to her parents. “Mum and Dad, I remember you told me that when you first came to Australia you found it difficult to fit into Australian society.”
“Yes Rani, that was because the locals were being racist towards us.” replied her father.
“Why do you think that was Dad?”
“Because of us having dark skin and eating different foods and having a religion they did not want to understand.”
“So is that still the same?”
“Not so much my daughter. When you went to school you developed an Australian accent and through you we met the parents of your friends and we were learning the Australian ways.
“Do you think you are sometimes racist Dad?”
“No, of course not; why do you ask?”
“You don’t seem to be happy with me seeing Daniel and I wonder why. He is well educated, has a good paying job, that he’s very good at, he’s polite to you and very kind to me. What is it you don’t like about him?”
“Well he’s not one of us.”
“What do you mean by, us?”
“Oh, I see what you are meaning. You thinking we are being racist.”
“What do you think Mum?”
“Why are you asking me?’
“Mum, just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to an opinion.”
“Quite the feminist we have raised. Tell her my dear.” suggested her father.
“I am thinking Daniel is a good man and if he makes you happy then we should accept his differences.”
“And you Dad, is that how you feel?”
“Perhaps we have been a bit narrow in our views. You have my approval daughter.”
“Thanks Mum and Dad, you two are bonza.”
“Rani my girl, sometimes I think you are just too Aussie.”
Daniel was on a five day trip and Rani wanted to tell him about her parents’ change of heart, but she decided against texting or phoning as she wanted to tell Daniel while she was in his arms, so she waited for his return.
Three days later he called from the airport and invited her to his apartment for dinner. When she arrived she told him. “I’ve got some good news.”
“I had a chat with Mum and Dad while you were away.”
“Am I going to like this?”
“I’ve already told you it’s good news. You see, I put them on the spot and asked them to tell me exactly why they were not comfortable about our relationship. Anyway, long story short, they now accept you and our relationship. In fact Pita even said we have his approval. That’s a big step for him.”
“That’s great, but why did he have a problem in the first place?”
“Do I really have to spell it out for you white boy?”
You never know whom you will meet in the liquor store.