2 August 2010 - In Flight.
I’ve done it enough by now: squirmed in the seat of an airplane for hours on end en route from one distinct culture to another. [bxA] The integration and assimilation begins with the airline, this time Royal Jordanian delivering me from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. The nationalities of the staff, the language translations of the announcements, the food options, entertainment selection – all these details knead my senses gently back and forth between the place I’m going and the place I’ve left.
I tried to be still in my seat, resigned to my aircraft insomnia, accepting refreshments from a pretty Thai flight attendant in a Royal Jordanian uniform and scrolling through the multi-cultural programs on offer from the television affixed to my chair. I watched a recent American comedy film called ‘Blind Date’ and an episode of Friends that made me feel more like an alien than I already did flying through the night skies from Phuket to Beirut.
Phoebe’s surrogate triplets were old enough to walk and talk. Rachel and Joey were dating. Huh? When did all of this happen? Where was I? Where am I now? What else have I missed?
Meanwhile, the camel with my karma trotted slowly across the globe. I always arrive days before him and the satchels he lugs on his back which contain all the things I need to feel gravity pull me into the place where I land.