Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

First thing is an apology.  
“We ah soah sorry to keepa you waitin,” she raises an eyebrow, extends a hand toward me, asking with the inflection in her voice to please see my passport. I show her.
“Miss Deeshjong,” she emphasizes my name once she is privy to it. “We ah sorry, Miss Deeshjong, to keepa you waitin. We will be with you shortly. We thank you fohr your patience.” She smiles. It is an immaculate smile. Everything about her, crisp: her sharp collared jacket, her slick hair pulled back into a black bow, the squareness of her glasses., her pert but friendly lips. Even her ankle’s curve at an immaculate angle. This woman I imagine, has never had a run in her stockings, ever. I will see her later, while I am waiting to board, and she will glide gracefully down the escalator, respectfully taking up less than half a stair in the event others would wish to pass on the left, frantically dashing to not miss their plane; but she will stand to one side, never in a hurry, always with the right measured amount of time to get from place to place, and she will place one delicate wrist propped upon the center of her nice round bag at she floats down, down, and disappears below my line of sight.

Chubby kid
Bowl cut, purple pants, wobbling gait as tall as she is wide, I swear that this is the cutest, most  perfect square-headed child  I’ve ever seen.

Security (a poem)
I get “special treatment”
don’t even have to take off my shoes
only get to stand in a box  
glass door closed as
three pronounced puffs of air accost my
face chest thigh 1, 2, 3,
my shirt flies up I should feel
like Marilyn Monroe
but when the security guard puts up a flattened hand indicating
for me not to move,
I don’t.
(move, or feel like Marilyn)

Duty Free
For all those curious: 1500ml. of Ketel One vodka isn’t all that much cheaper at the airport.

Little puddles of midnight rain on the runway, breath on the window, lit wing spanning I.N.T.E.R.NA.T.I.O.N.A.L – this is still all too familiar, and I’m awfully tired. Thank God I have nothing to do for the next 17 hours.

One would perhaps think that arriving at the departure gate 2 hours early would ensure not missing one’s flight – but then one would be overlooking  several things: 1) that when one takes the red eye after very little sleep the previous two nights, there is a high probability of falling asleep at the gate despite uncomfortable stiff chairs, 2) that falling asleep might prevent hearing the announcement to board and 3) when traveling alone, there is no one to wake one up come boarding time. That is to say, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to my very favorite Cathay Pacific Airline employee who noticed I was the only soul left in the SFO terminal at gate 23, and woke me up after realizing I might be that last passenger who had not yet boarded 9 minutes to departure time.

But then again, “favorite” Cathay Pacific employee is a little limiting, and may fail to include the lovely gentleman that found a place for my single piece of luggage – a backpack crammed with more duty free alcohol (gift requests of my Vietnam host) than clothes – last minute. And, who also knelt on the floor even while he should have been preparing for take-off, to retrieve the plastic Easter egg that had fallen from a side pocket… hey: a girl’s got to have her Cadbury.

I do not like turbulence. I do not like it because it reminds me of a very bad experience I had when flying back from the East Coast on a sketchy airline shut down soon after due to safety violations. It’s a good story, about me thinking I was about to die in a horrible plummeting-to-my-death, did-I-tell-my-mother-I-loved-her kind of way, but for efficiency sake, let’s just say the planes engine failed at 35,000ft. and I do not like turbulence. No, I do not like turbulence at all. It causes me a little bit of anxiety. So, I do not like it when the large 747 aircraft that is carrying my body presently over Osaka by the shear miracle of aerodynamics starts to shake. And I think I like it even less when the infant to my left starts to wail something  fierce and the elderly man who sits behind me starts to hack and gasp for breath such that the lovely manicured cabin attendants drop their drink trays and rush to his side to ensure he doesn’t choke to death. This seems to cause me a bit more anxiety. Yes, I like this not very much.

Hong Kong knows how to design an airport. Unfortunately, my flight got in late so I had time for little more than a rest stop and quick stretch before my connecting flight, but if I had I would have indulged in the services in the lounge: shower, massage, and seafood congee (which, just my luck, was served for breakfast instead).

Next up: Hanoi, Vietnam

§179 · April 17, 2006 · JetSet · · [Print]

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