The whole story isn’t worth telling, but here’s some dialogue, mostly faithful:
Me: Please check the rest of my flights and make sure I’ll have vegetarian meals.
Counter lady: I see the meal requests for the other five, but not for the one you just got off of.
Me: OK, but I wasn’t able to eat on the flight I just took. Can’t I get a voucher or coupon or something?
CL: We don’t do that. You should have requested a vegetarian meal in advance.
Me: I did. I called and they told me I was all set.
CL: Did you call the airline directly or did you do it through a travel agent?
Me: I didn’t use a travel agent for anything.
CL: Well, we're not showing a request for a vegetarian meal on your flight from Busan to Tokyo.
Me: I know. That's exactly the problem! Of course I made the request. Why would I ask for five vegetarian meals and one meat meal?
CL: How would we know what you want?
Me: You are Japanese but have nevertheless learned perfectly the art of stupefying your customers with large amounts of sass. I’ll go slink away and drown my flabbergastedness in fistfuls of banana chips.
In all fairness, before this conversation, the stewardess on the plane had apologized profusely about the mishap and gone and nabbed one of these little goody-boxes from business class.
(Exactly one eighth of a mouthful each of six vegetables/mystery substances.)
I also got a vegan dinner and a vegan breakfast (in that order) on my Tokyo-Dallas flight:
The dinner was one of the lamest curry-biryani combos I've ever had. Neither tasted like anything, nor did the flatbread or iceberg lettuce salad. I've got to give them some credit for the inventive (not quite sure what other word to use) glob of fruits, nuts, cinnamon, and grated coconut
Breakfast was a little on the miniscule side, but I'm not one to complain about artichokes and honeydew. Looking forward to many more varities of splendid produce that for whatever reason don't make it to Korea.
Anyway, my first post from the US in just about two years. Woohoo! I've already heard soldiers talking about impending strip club visits, lighthearted but xenophobic jokes from customs officials, and parents telling their children to shut up and go sit down in arbitrary places. I am pretty sure that my fitful sleep schedule over the past 36 hours, and the ensuing crankiness, are to blame for this selective listening. C'mon homeland, show me somethin' good!