Lonely Planet, Lonely Journey

Kissing goodbye Wendy, leaving my home, seeing away my lovely car, I got on a red Falanhong taxi in the darkness of this summer night, heading to Pudong Airport. It was 8:50 PM. If I have choices the next time, I won’t fly at 9:50 PM. It is a good time to go to bed, not the right time to start a new journey ALONE.

Turning right on the Hunan Road, and turning left at the first viaduct, I am on the A20 outer ring road. The taxi ran at more than 100 km/h. The driver was obviously very happy to take me. The 100 RMB taxi fare may mean a nice toy for his kid, or a wonderful meal for his whole family. He became talkative and mentioned his family, the small taxi company he works for, the change of this city. It is nice to end a day with a good business and a polite passenger, isn’t it? But how about ending it with a journey out of home? I became very homesick last week, despite of the exciting projects and the busy life I was longing for.

The air at night is as clear as vacuum. The road lamps hide away quickly with new lamps running into my face. I am not happy to leave home at deep night – the time to go to bed.

Chen had a talk with me this afternoon. He described his dream as the life I am leading – to fly between the two cities frequently and enjoy the best the both cities have to offer. Well. It is nice if I don’t have to leave Wendy.

Believe it or not, the taxi driver managed to send me to the airport within 30 minutes. He was quick to help me to get my luggage out of the back case and handed it to me. I guess he will turn on the CD, increase the volume and conduct a beautiful U-turn back home – his home is just 5 km away from mine – he told me about it.

The airport was empty. Not many people travel as late as 9:20 PM. There are still many airport staff there – busy packing their stuff to get ready to leave. When I checked in at the Eastern Airlines counter, they told me I am the last three passengers for this flight – the plane is already going to taking off. “Be hurry. Everyone is waiting for you to go home.”, said the tired young man. I realized that although the check-in gate closes 30 minutes before the departure of the flight, as the last flight of the day, they have the flexibility to depart as early as they can if there is no bad passenger like me.

I left the counter and ran to the security check – the counter closed behind me. I went down, down, down to the ground floor of the airport to gate 32. At the counter, a lady in uniform was complaining with another girl about missing her last shuttle to go back home. I went through the gate and the counter closed behind me. Lights went off.

I got to the plane that was parked south-most corner of the airport via shuttle bus. I stepped onto the plane, and door closed after me. When I sat down at the back of the plane, it started to move along the taxi way and soon took off.

Now I am at the plane and typing the entry of today. 80% passengers in this flight are foreigners. It seems half of them came from India and others from Russia – I am just guessing. They must have bought a (cheap) tour package.

The light of the plane soon went off and people started to fall asleep. I am among the few persons who are still awake. Along with others on this flight, I am somewhere between the two major cities in China, and 100,000 meters in the middle of the dark sky.

3 Comments

  1. Very poetic, Jianshuo! What a poignant description of your feelings. I can feel your longing for home and the nostalgia you went thru…I can relate to your experience very much. Few years ago, I did endless travel for my company. I practically lived out of my suitecase for 2 whole years!!! The life of a globe-trotting consultant is a tough one. I wouldn’t do it again, but those 2 years of my life was the most memorable and I shall relish it until the end of time. I got to travel to every continent of the world except Africa. I met a myriad of people, made friends (and enemies) It was wild, but I had a blast! I worked hard and partied even harder :)

  2. These words really came out from your heart. I felt your sadness. As what they say, “one can never have everything in life.” So, even if we get something we’ve always wanted, there will always be a downside or negative aspect to that. Nevertheless, it’s still all up to us on how we want to live our lives. Goodluck on balancing your career challenges and family! :D

  3. Very touching words that remind me of walking alone at midnight from JR station to the company I worked for after the business trip, picking up the car and then driving about 40 minutes back to the apartment. No back home feeling at all but fear. Now I am home and would not leave home for any reasons. Good luck and try your best to enjoy…

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