dimanche, juin 19, 2005

Thunderbirds are go

We got VIP passes (from a friend who's an engineer for a French defence company, God the company we keep) to go to the PAris Air Show yesterday, at Le Bourget. I was quite excited until I realised the whole air show is just a front for arms dealing. Or put another way when I realised that the difference between aeronautics and 'defence' is difficult to determine. The Israelis had a big presence there of course. We went into the Israeli stand, that stood 3 times the size of most of the other national stands, excluding the Russians, of course. We were mostly on the lookout for pins for the children, but it was hot so we sat down in front of a large screen, whereupon we were treated to an extraordinary simulation of an attack on the Occupied Territories using the kind of state of the art weaponry that I guess the Israelis were trying to flog. A computerised female, clearly modelled on Lady Penelope, was coordinating the attack. For some reason the children thought this wasn't very interesting (I guess after Star Wars but before the dawning of a political consciousness it might well have seemed pretty tame) and were considerably more thrilled to get a glimpse of the Airbus 380, which looked to me like every other big passenger jet but anyway, what do I know. The air acrobats (is there a better name for that in English?) were amazing.

Unfortunately our VIP passes didn't stretch to corporate entertaining so we were forced to smuggle in cheese baguettes onto the terrace and indulge in the free water and coffee on offer. When we got back to the car the temperature reading was 42.