The American immigration officer: “Why do you look Chinese at this photo? This is not you! Come with me for an extra security check.”
Twice today I was taken through this special migration-process, where I had to answer a bunch of questions and show more ID’s. They really didn’t wanna let me enter the country. But those of you who have travelled with me before knows I am a pretty chilled (or stupid or whatever it’s called) traveler. I went to the AirPort without the ESTA-papers completely in order (which I need to enter the States). And I had not yet booked my ticket from Florida (where I had my first stopover after the Dominican Republic) to LA… So I do take those things pretty easily and it always works out in the end. Even with my Ching-Chong-passport.
The immense, complicated, creature of a large airplane is probably that man-made machine I have the most difficulties comprehending. At the same time I am so used to flying that I seldom think about what’s actually going on with that massive thingy in the sky…
When the airplane is parked on the ground, and the mechanics fill the trunk with luggage, then it is sort of familiar. But as soon as the large vessel takes off; first slowly, from the runway, over the treetops, the skyscrapers and the earth as we know it. Until it, with the rage of the engines rize into the sky, the athmosphere, the horizon. When we’re amongst those perfectly shaped cotton-candy clouds, that’s when it is weird and amazing, and normal at the same time.
And I wonder why I, and so many others, eat the miniature-food and drink the miniature-bottled wine, kind of in the set of a Rembrandt-picture or in the world of the carebears (all girls’ favorite teddys who lives in the clouds), but all we do is to eat, drink, watch films, read, chitchat with the stranger next to us and try to make the time fly?
Maybe we would have appreciated the surroundings and the sensations more if marketers once would have sold flying differently…
“Up for a heavenly adventure? You can now enjoy a romantic picnic in the sky amongst clouds and Gods! Valentines-deal: only $499!!!”
Instead we think of it as something we have to do in order to get from one place to another. A bit more pricy, but yeah – kinda like taking the bus from A to B. We are weird… Up there, and down there. The world underneath looks so systematic with roads and cars, hills and houses. It looks unpersonal and organized. The seagulls and the windguru probably thinks we look like boring working ants.
Anyhow… I’ve started my own little tradition when flying, which I intend to keep #22. There is a natural transcendent feel to the plane’s movement at take-off and landing. And I use this ascending feeling to meditate. It is so quiet and transformitative and somehow all the unimportant stuff is left behind; the mail I have to write, the bill I forgot to pay, the backroll I still need to work on (God dammit!). I leave it with the ants down there for a few moments, before I open my eyes and try to make the time fly before stepping off the plane to another ant-colony than before. Today me and my Chinagirl-passport stepped out from the tranquillo tropical Caribbean and into the busy loco Los Angeles. I’m gonna be staying with my talented director-friend Alex Herron at Hollywood Boulevard for the next few days. Quite a high-fly transformation this time!