It was a typical scene lifted out of Malu Kade. On one side was a man brandishing food and on the other a woman clad in the colours of the national airline armed with all the fury she could muster.
Regrettably, it was not the St. John’s market but the night flight UL 423 winging its way from Bangkok to Colombo, having started its journey in Hong Kong on March 7. The foreign passenger who had just discovered to his horror a worm where it was not supposed to be, in his dessert, was justifiably angry.
He complained and pulled out his mobile to take a photo of the offending food item, when the stewardess, without attempting to appease him and make amends for the airline’s poor standards, began berating him. When the foreigner insisted he wanted to photograph the dessert, in joined a steward, nearly coming to blows with the passenger.
The scene only ended when other passengers who were about to get some sleep intervened and told all parties concerned to shut up. The poor foreigner, having paid for his ticket and also indirectly for the "wormy dessert" may have silently vowed never to fly SriLankan again. The stewardess, of course, went back to her area, still mouthing insults in Sinhala.
Where have the warm smiles and hospitality of this airline gone, was on the minds of most cringing Sri Lankans on that flight.