The only thing really making today feel different is that in going to the airport, I wasn't alone. I have gone in and out the Qingdao airport so many times during my time in China, its completely old hat by now; but this time I went in a van accompanied by the whole micMAC team-- and that was special. I asked Meng Xiang Yu if he had ever been to the airport before. He said, “No,” and I smiled a little bit at the irony.
I am so used to the Qingdao airport, I hardly even flinched when the gate for my flight was changed form 7 to 4... and then back to 7. For a moment I had flash backs to coming to china, when my flights got so out of whack I arrived two days later than I was supposed to—but then I remembered “This is China” and gate changes are just a habitual part of the standard flying process.
Asian airlines are so nice. I am Korean Air for my flights up till Atlanta. There was a nice computer panel on the seat in front of me where you can listen to music or watch movies. I decided to save my ipod battery for the long flight, and put on the “recent release” playlist from American music. Is this really what is on the radio now? I haven't missed that at all. If I was a bit tired of the hackneyed beats, meaningless lyrics posing as meaningful poetry, and the standard “rap guy for the verses, pop guy for the catchy chorus!” formula before I left, I am even more so now. Good thing I found some real music on there too, like John Mayer, Regina Spektor and Muse.
Coming to the Seoul Airport feels like coming home. I remember the first time I came here, wide eyed with an overwhelming sense of being out of place. Now I have spent so much time in the Korean airport that I know all the nooks and crannies, including the locations of Quiznos, Starbucks, free showers, and even a prayer room. I have spent over 50 hours here in the past year, and though I have nick named it “Hotel Korea” as a result, tonight I will not be staying. I am going home.
Up, theres my boarding call.
Its now 9:23 pm, and I have 87% on my computer battery. That means maybe 3 hours of battery left.
Would it be cliché to say that the time flew by? Seriously, with that personal tv thing, flying is no problem. Midnight in Paris, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, X Men, Thor-- easy peasy. I guess I am just really good at watching TV. I stayed up the whole flight too, so that should help with jet lag. The guy next to me slept almost the whole time, incredibly.
This is weird I haven't had to listen to inane small talk for a whole year now. I understand what people are saying!
I have been in America like 20mins and I have a credit card in the mail. I mean to be fair I didn't know they were selling something when I came over, but hey you get a free flight just for signing up and can count any flights from the past week on your miles. Also, you get a free teddy bear!
As I fly to the Orlando airport at 8:00 AM, the Florida sun, so different in feel from the sun in China, mingles lazily with the thick white clouds—producing myriads of rainbows in the refracted light. I look down and see water and green and finely squared rows of houses everywhere. I didn't realize I missed Florida till I saw it again.
I am happy to be home.