Funny how certain events stay engraved in our minds forever and are triggered by visual means for the rest of our lives. I was living in New York at the time of 911 and had witnessed the whole disaster from the rooftop of my downtown Nolita office. It was horrific to say the least seeing that and experiencing it so closely. Since then, seeing a plane next to a high rise triggers a stream of unwelcome memories and emotions.
photo taken: from the Shangri La Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai looking up to the Jin Mao building and the Shanghai World Financial Center, aka bottle opener.
No matter where we travel to, no matter how exciting an adventure is, there is nothing more satisfying than the return home. What waits at home is a sense of relief, to go back to the familiar, to the relaxed knowing that all is well and safe, the joy of being back in the nest. And for a child, their toys become exciting all over again, their bed a haven of comfort and their home a place of well-being. Yes, it is always good to go back home.
This was one of the days that will have a highlight in my memories, for sure it will, and not only because I am for the first time posting iphone photos in my 365 project, but because it was a day that went off course. I was flying back from Geneva to Shanghai via Doha (Qatar), and the first leg of the flight was all well and smooth. Most of us fly so much these days that we only lend half an ear to the safety instruction videos or the bored crew members demonstrations at take-off. 3 hours into the second leg of the journey (Doha to Shanghai), the monitor screen caught my sleepy eye, “hmmm we are not supposed to be making circles are we”? And what is that jet of liquid flying out the wings? Should we be concerned? Why isn’t anyone saying anything?
And many details, questions, concerns, circling plane, jet fuel thrown out of the wings, 3 extra hours packed with mystery, we head back to where we came from. Of course, no one cared to explain what was going on, and the 250 or so passengers were dropped back at the airport utterly clueless and exhausted waiting for news on another flight.
There was of course a valid reason for the plane to turn around (a medical emergency on the flight), but I realized on this day the importance of being prepared, the value of proper people handling, the need for grace under pressure, all of which were close to non existent. It made me feel a great concern for the times we live in, and for who and what and who we put our lives at the mercy of. Do we trust too much because we have no choice? Are the people put in these critical positions worthy of our trust?
Yes, strange day and important day to rethink so many things, and a day to be forced out of my routine way of going on. A great book was finished too but that’s only a side story.