Welcome aboard Hello Kitty airlines
TAIWAN—Forgive me if I start this article by saying that growing up with so many cats in the household, I’ve had my fill of them and don’t want to do anything with them anymore, not even if they are cute kittens.
I pushed my cart along the seemingly endless corridors of Taoyuan International Airport looking for my departure gate for Guam later that night. A few minutes and hundreds of corridors later, I found where I was headed, stopped and stared.
Gate C3, the huge sign said. And by sheer luck, I was heading straight toward a pink and white floored waiting area with Hello Kitty plastered all over the walls and benches. It was one of those themed lobbies the airport is famous for. Smaller images of Hello Kitty were posted on the walls to indicate figures of world clocks. The Breastfeeding room was even designed in Hello Kitty motif.
Kids were playing on a small Hello Kitty playground at the waiting area. I never sat down in any of those benches but made the rounds exploring the airport.
When I came back later two hours before my flight, I was shocked to see C3 gate deserted.
Stepping closer, I saw a hastily taped computer printed sign telling passengers that our departure area was transferred to Gate C8. Good news, no kitty there.
Finally, after walking my 14, 969th step around the airport, it was boarding time. I entered the airplane to look for my seat, and stopped in shock. All the seats—300 plus of them had Hello Kitty tied on the head rests. I found my seat, and lo and behold, a pillow with Hello Kitty’s face plastered all over it awaited me. I was stuck with that cat. The individual TV monitor was showing Hello Kitty films. Luckily it was a short flight.
In minutes we were airborne and I covered the ear phones with its plastic covering splashed with the pink and white character with a magazine. I was left with no choice but put the Hello Kitty pillow on my lap. I never thought I’d fly with a kitty on my lap!
Dinner was served and I was in for another shock. Food was served in a tray covered with a Hello Kitty tray cover. The handles of the utensils came with Hello Kitty handles, leaving me with no choice but hold Kitty’s face on the spoon, fork and knife. The napkin was designed with you guessed it—Hello Kitty. And so was the toothpick, wrapped in a Hello Kitty wrapper.
Then came something I never expected or imagined. I opened the dessert bowl, and tarannnn…the face of Hello Kitty drawn on a piece of ham grinned at me. You knew it, I never touched the dessert but snapped the lid back on.
If the flight had been during daytime, I would have seen we were boarding a green-and-white EVA Air plane with photos of Hello Kity splashed all around the body of the plane. I deplaned on Guam still reeling from Hello Kitty overdose.
On an end note, here comes this breaking news that rocked the whole world—Hello Kitty is not really a cat but a little girl. While a big population of world ranted and raged about it, I feel a bit better. LoL