When I went to Florida with my parents (with PanAm, so you can tell how long ago it was) there was a movie, which started at a set time, and five radio channels. If you wished to partake of these you hired headphones for a couple of bucks.
On Virgin last week, however, each seat had an entertainment console in the back and a selection of films, TV programmes, radio, audiobooks and videogames, activated on demand. Headphones complimentary, along with a toothbrush, pen, socks and other goodies. All this in economy, too. What they get in Upper Class I can't imagine. Sex, perhaps.
We had the further entertainment of a nice lady sitting next to us who claimed to have been a close personal friend of Janis Joplin before she was famous, and to have had a wild hippie past in Haight-Ashbury. Yet there she was, dressed in polyester, returning from a European vacation with a bunch of other old people. Makes you think, eh?
The Haight, as our new acquaintance taught us to call it, is very like Camden: all tourists and head shops. It felt far safer than we were expecting, and we found our charmingly kooky B&B (we were in the Skylight Room), checked in, had a kip then strolled out in search of dinner.
This was had in spades at the Asqew Grill, a fine establishment which brings a whole new meaning to the concept of kebabs. Our friendly waitress knocked 10% off the bill because we were new in town and blundering around looking lost and struggling to work out the money. We didn't tell her we behave like that in London too.