When travelling by plane, I usually wonder what all other people around me are going to do once they arrive.
At the eve of the World Pork Expo last week, I flew from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Des Moines, Iowa.
Usually, flights to Des Moines are not carried out by very large planes, and this one wasn’t super-sized either. A mixture of men and women were gazing out of the window, doing some work on their laptops, read books or a story on their e-readers.
Next to me, a man was playing games on his smartphone. After a while he opened his briefcase and started reading material – and I recognised a familiar logo. He read about the US pavilion at VIV Asia, in Bangkok, next year.
Funny, I thought, he’s probably also going to the World Pork Expo.
The man in front of him was sending e-mails. I tried to peek at the screen. All I could see was a little blue company logo in the signature stating ‘Elanco’.
Another one for the Expo!
Next, two people exchanged business cards of Murphy-Brown in the row in front of me.
The more I paid attention to what everybody was doing, the more I realised it was probably hard to find anybody on that plane who was not going to the Expo.
The only one I could not identify as working in the pig industry was a woman sitting right next to me, listening to her iPod. But she was one of the gang too – I spotted her at the Iowa State Fairgrounds the day after.
On board of an internal flight from America’s pig state number 2 to America’s pig state number 1, perhaps I could have known to meet some pig people.
Yesterday I flew from Seoul Incheon to Jeju Island, at the eve of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress. What I saw was pretty much the same phenomenon...
Since virtually every international delegate will arrive at Incheon, the planes to the island south of Korea were packed with pig people. This time they were clearly recognisable as many wore their company clothing or were dragging along marketing material on the plane.
Those few local holidaymakers I saw must have wondered where this lot was going.
Or, perhaps more likely, they were Korean swine veterinarians.