Wednesday, October 3, 2012
On the Road Again
This post has nothing to do with creative writing nor artwork. My sole purpose is to let you know that I arrived in Bangkok last night. I have to admit that I found the flight here tedious to say the least. After rising at 4 AM in Portland, catching a 2 hour flight to Los Angeles, then boarding an 11 hour flight to Tokyo,and then finally, after sitting at the gate for an hour because of a sick passenger, a 6 1/2 hour flight to Bangkok followed then by a 45 minute taxi ride to my hotel, I arrived at 1 AM the following day and, of course, feel like crap. Actually, I am quite happy mentally and eager to see the sights, but have decided to rest this morning and acclimate to the incredibly humid air and the squalor.
The experience of flying with Japan Airlines was rewarding. I was one of the few non-Japanese on the plane and was fascinated by the interactions of the people. I saw much bowing and gentle smiles. People showed me great courtesy. I was playfully teased and urged by a flight attendant and old man who was sitting next to me to try a number of Japanese foods available to business class passengers. I accepted if they both agreed to let me to do sketches of them.The review of the final products generated much amusement.
As I sit here thousands of miles away from home, my nephew Mark's insight comes to mind. He asked rhetorically how a person can have any complaints with flying. He made me remember that riding on the plane's cushioned seat, which retracts into a bed, is like sitting on a magic carpet flying at pell mell speed. It wasn't that long ago that sailors spent months in unknown seas or explorers crossed strange lands in the face of countless peril from hostile people, threatened by dangerous weather or rampant disease. In a moment of frustration or despair, at least one such adventurer looked at the sky and saw a comet whizzing by and must have thought how wonderful it would be to travel distance at that speed. Today that shooting star is just one of dozens of jet trails littering the night sky. Yesterday I was in Oregon, today Thailand. I had to sit a long time. Foolish me to whine about my exhausting journey!