Friday, February 07, 2014

Aloft

It is once again time for my boot heels to be wandering.  I sit on the sofa in a house where I will soon leave behind an irate ex-wife and 7 cats.  My level of commitment to them all is for me, once again, the grand prize question.

I am a professional ex-pat English teacher who has been between jobs, again.  These past four months have not been the first time I have shifted my life from being over there with many rooms of Ikea furniture, carpets on the floor and art on the walls, moving to here, not so much my home anymore as my country of origin, the U.S.

This routine is the way things have been for years, and it looks as though the routine will go on and on.I don't mind leaving a house full of furniture behind. I do hate the part where I turn friends into people I was used to be close to, people I used to hang out with, got drunk with or sometimes tried to stay sober with.
What can I tell you?
I'm packing. I’ll soon be aloft again. Yes, I won't argue that IT is all about the journey, not the destination. Travel well we are told as it is better than the arrival.Long hauls are always out of body experiences. A long haul reduces my periphery to seismic shifts in time zones, day times and night times, surrounds me with unfamiliar faces and unknowable languages.
All this departing and arriving, and the layovers are made less nerve-racking when I can slip into a VIP lounge . My attitude of gratitude for today is maintained by my Delta Gold Club membership in combination with my 15 hour long haul Delta flight from Seattle to Shanghai. I am entitled to complimentary beverages, all the baby carrots and pretzels I can shovel into my mouth. 

I pray the traveler's prayer. I hope that the lines at security screenings are short and quick and that my hotel in China remembers to send a driver. The hotel driver has for years now been the closest thing I've had to being greeted by a friend or family member's smile. I don't mind it at all these days. Long ago? Yes. Later on? Less so. Now? Shameless resignation.

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