Friday, June 01, 2007

Coffee, Tea or chronic specific granulomatous inflammation with caseation necrosis?

"We're the Jet Set, get out of our way" - Joe Jackson

The tubercular traveler dust-up has got me reminiscing about
my way-too-frequent-flier days. It's a large topic. Definitely too large to tackle here in one post: I spent a lot of time in, and traveling between, airports.

I did this as air travel went through its mid-life transition from glam to gloom. I accumulated my miles in the period between the Jet-Set era - that legendary golden age of in-flight socializing - and the current time of insularity in motion, the days of iPods and in-seat video. In other words... the 80s and 90s.

Andrew Speaker clearly hasn't traveled much internationally. In Asia, especially in Japan and Korea, flu season is greeted with the mass donning of surgical masks. Once the initial strangeness of seeing all those faces wrapped in white cotton wore off, I found it pleasantly comforting. I believed, probably correctly, that many wore them to prevent infecting others and not only to avoid getting sick themselves. Thoughtful. Mindful. Just when I believed I was clear on the concept I saw a salaryman, on a flight from Tokyo to Osaka, lift his mask to inhale deeply on his Mild Seven. Ah, quelle inscrutability.

Someday I should write my travel memories down, before they're all forgotten. Many already are - it's a puzzlement why I never kept a diary. I mean I blog, sorta. Anyway, here are a few potential 'In Transit' chapters, for the memoir. 'Characters Well Met' would comprise an entirely separate volume.

Missed Your Final Boarding Call in Shanghai? Hitch a Ride on a Luggage Cart, naturally.
That Was Not St. Elmo's Fire Coming Out of that Engine
The Missing Runway Lights of Misty Xian
The Flight of the Self-medicated Doctor
Oxygen Tank Follies (or: Blue, Blue, my Seat Mate's Blue)
Goodbye Baguio City
An In-flight Irish Wake
Boom boom, you die (observations on coup d'etat, Bangkok taxi-driver stylee)
We're not seriously on the 49th Parallel, are we?
In-aisle Celebrity Entertainment
Convict reading materials (not porn)
John Prine reading materials (porn)
Duped onto the Belfast Bus
Fastest VW in Nice
Detachable Delhi Taxi Doors
The Scowl of Being Neil Young in First Class


Blogger Mark said...

My best would be titled, "I so was NOT reaching for a gun, Senator Kennedy!"

5:10 PM  

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