Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Six Degrees of George Clooney

Attention passengers, Nespresso flight 666 to Coffeeville will be boarding shortly.  Please form an orderly queue, here, here and here.

My apartment in Paris comes complete with all the mod cons, including a Nespresso machine.  I've resisted purchasing one in Singapore, as my little Philips drip works just fine.  I make my pot in the morning, it gives me 3 generous mugs of the particular blend I buy from a little guy in a little shop around the corner.  It's fresh, tasty and cheap.  However, when in Rome (or Paris as the case is), may as well cafe as they cafe.

So when, during one of my walks around this spectacular city, I spotted a Nespresso store on the Champs Elysees, I thought it a perfect opportunity to replenish the stock of coffee capsules with the genuine article.

That's when I fell. Hard.

Nespresso is not a product - it's an airline.  And not just any airline, it's Singapore Airlines, the best airline in the world.  And this isn't a store - it's an airport terminal.  And not just any airport terminal, it's Changi Terminal 3, the best in the world.  (I keep hoping that all the glorious free press is going to get me an upgrade on SIA.  I keep hoping.)

On the ground floor, you have departures - this is where all the fancy aircraft, er, coffee machines are on display in all their glory.  There are dark suited hosts and hostees, perfectly turned out and just begging to assist you in the purchase of your private jet, er, coffee machine.  The place is positively buzzing, with numerous passengers, er, customers test driving the apparatuses (apparati?).

On the lower level, you have arrivals.  This is where you form an orderly queue in one of three lines (more on that later) to pick up your bags, er, capsules.  Again, there are no shortage of well manicured attendants to help you choose just the right bag, er, capsule.

There is also a Club.  Like any good frequent flyer program, membership in the Club entitles you to a host of benefits, including getting to queue in the 'Club Lane' for your capsules.  An iPhone app which allows you to quickly locate your nearest 'Capsule Collection Point', and a dedicated lounge where you can taste all of the flavours available (and there are a lot of flavours!).  You can also request that George Clooney join you for dinner.  Okay, that's not part of the standard Club service, again I live in hope.

Having picked up my bags (whatever), I left the terminal, er, Boutique and wandered further down the Champs Elysees until I reached Avenue du George V.  I felt an odd compulsion to head down the avenue to the George V hotel, and venture into the lobby bar, where I promptly started comparing frequent flyer experiences with a nice old bloke with grey hair.

The Swiss are evil.  I've been seduced by the dark side and am loving it - even if it is about to cost me US$700.00.

Love, Me

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