I Hate Flying

I didn’t always hate flying.  I use to enjoy the plunges through the sky and flying through storms, lighting flashing and the plane swerving through the screaming winds.  I would often sit with my face pressed to the window, watching the Earth bend at the horizon.  I loved the ground moving slowly beneath, city giving way to farm land before I was so high I couldn’t make out much of anything.  Except for the mountains and the rivers, those always stood out.

Perhaps it is part of growing old, knowing that time on Earth is short, that made me fear flying.  I know for sure that after my first flight to China I have avoided flying as much as possible.  The plane took off from San Fran for a direct flight to Shanghai.  Some where past the international date line the flight hit the worst air turbulence,

I had just gotten my food when the first bounces began.  They were good size but they were intermittent.  Then the sky began to fall away quite regularly.  I have to hang onto the tray so it wouldn’t fly through the cabin.  The stewardess stopped serving.  Occasionally one or two of them would dart by and pick up the trays that had been served.  It seemed I waited for ever for my tray to be taken.  It was the only time I experienced air sickness.

The only good thing about the flight was I didn’t have a window seat.  I don’t think I could have bared the horrors outside.  And there was the stop over in Korea.

The plane had exhausted most of its fuel battling the winds that the plane was diverted to an island off the coast of South Korea to refuel.  I was never so happy to reach terra firma.

If I have to fly I try to get a seat on the aisle so that I can stretch out my left leg.  A few hours of sitting my knee begins to ache.  Stretching it out between stewardess’ ambling by answering passenger requests, helps.  Of course when the cart runs into my foot I wake with a start.

I am a huge fan of train travel, especially in these days of traveling.  Train travel may be slower, but it is so much more civilized.  I love going up to the dining car and watching the world roll by.  On the train I don’t really care if I get a window or aisle seat.  Both are some what comfortable.

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Big City Visits

I have been to a few big cities in my travels.  Among the ones I have been lucky enough to visit include: D.C., New York City-and I didn’t have any salsa, Chicago, and I did try the dogs, pizza and of course sliders, L.A., it was hot, San Diego, it was expensive.  Up the coast to San Fran and Oakland, and San Jose.  Wish I could have taken in a ball game at Giants Stadium.  Further north Portland, and Seattle and Vancouver, B.C..  I also made it to Calgary one summer.  I was reminded of Texas, what with all the oil derricks and cattle.  I moved on before the great winter storms could pound Calgary.

In Europe I have been lucky to visit Dublin, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Rome, Vatican City,  Venice, Florence, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Budapest, Munich, Milan and Naples.

While in Asia I got to see Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and of course Hanoi and its famous Hilton.  Then there is Bangkok, Chang Mai where I had to stop and show respect for the royal motorcade.  In Burma I go to explore the capitol of Rangoon or Yangon.  It seemed more like a sleepy provincial town than a capitol city.  It was very lovely and yes I did see the Sweedagon.  If you ever get there you will know what I mean.  I touched down in Taipei for a few hours.  And they let me board the plane with a whole jade handled dining and service set-which contained knives,  They waived me on board and sent me back to the states.  In China I flew in Beijing and set a nite out in a suburb.  I trained into Shanghai and sent a weekend taking in the sites and avoiding a couple of bar girls, who ran up a tab they expected me to pay.  Thankfully I only had a hundo on my and got out the place before the muscle showed me the way to an ATM machine.  But my favorite city in China is Xiamen.  It is not the provincial capitol but is the economic capitol of Fujian Province.  It was one of the original Economic Development Zones, opened up under Deng Zhou Ping in the 70’s and 80’s.  Xiamen and the other lucky cities where to be where the great capitalistic experiment would be tried first.

I thankful for all the places I have visited.  Big city, or back road village, I have enjoyed most if not all.  Perhaps I should draw up a list of smaller cities I have visited.  Then again that would require a week or more of remembering and way too many blog pages.

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What’s in My Purse, and Does it Represent What I Want in Life?

The bare necessities

Image by travis.vachon via Flickr

Day 24

Image by ohdearbarb via Flickr

As I don’t carry a purse, I was going to change it to wallet, but I don’t carry a wallet.  On occasion I carry my check book and my passport-both hold my I.D.’s and bank cards.  They, however, don’t represent what I want in life.

Rather it is what I don’t carry that represents what I want in life: Simplicity,  I want little to no goods or items for me to lug through life, little or no worries about I what I have, or what I need.  All I need are the bare necessities. Travel light, Travel fast, and know that we are traveling through life.

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