Flying: now and zen

The best part? There’s nothing you can do. Everything is beyond your control.. so why worry? Just relax. It’s the most relaxing time of my life…

flying, that is.

I really like the flying part.. not the security bullshit, endless queues – people who ignore lineups and just sashay to the front..lugging my ever heavy bags…and of course, time. I don’t like wasting it, but I get nervous when I’m late.. so.. how to plan things jussst right ?

* I have a pile of topics to write about, I’ve been emailing them to myself the past 3 days haha.. and putting them off. They’re all too serious and I don’t need anymore gloom at the moment (though, just between you and me.. waking up to hear about a ‘snowplow rampage’ made me laugh.. ok, later I found out a guy died but.. that’s besides the point)(a snowplow rampage? haha truly a Canadian thing to do.. I can only hope it’s followed by a loose Zamboni tale). *

Earlier this week I met some new people, and of course regaled them as only Yolanda knows how – babbling about China. What else have I got to talk about? Actually it was more travel in general (quick fyi, for those of you who think I used regale incorrectly.. no, that’s how I meant it. Comparing my storytelling to ‘refreshments’ or ‘a feast’. If you’ve read this far down the page I can only assume you partially agree).

Anyway, one person said ‘why, you’ve lived so much more than I have!’ … pointing out the 17 yr gap between us. I just did my usual exhale snicker and said ‘define living’.

For those of us who lived as an expatriate in China; ‘living’ is in the eye of the beholder. I guess since the people who are here weren’t there to behold what living is not they assume it was living that I did there?

There’s always something idyllic about travel/going on holiday, isn’t there? And, I guess, for people who only travel once a year or less outside of their daily routine … ‘living abroad’ sounds like one big holiday? Which it is not – you still pay taxes.

*btw, I’ve often wondered why a lot of people abroad refer to themselves as expats.. abbreviating the word expatriate.. which, first definition that comes up, means: to banish from their native country.  … do we all have that masochistic-James-Joyce sort of way … oh wow. Upon searching his name I find that he died Jan. 13th. It’s odd how I think of people on the day they die.. like Robert McNamara.

James Joyce, uh.. happy.. death day??

What does any of this have to do with flying?

Alright, I’ll get back with it… doing my usual roundabout thing.. it’s not a new thought. Possibly I’ve written most of this before, being in transit is very.. comforting.

My nemesis is stagnation. That’s why I hate Orillia. Have you ever been there? One big swamp.. oh and Florida.. I’ve been there twice and I really don’t care for it. If given a choice between Florida and Siberia .. or.. well.. anywhere, I’d choose the alternative. OH the toughest would be Manitoba or Florida. I think I’d just say I’m ill don’t make me go. I have the same feelings towards Vietnam.. but I’ve never been there.

It’s very strange but this is how it goes: Yolanda plans trips far in advance (typically) so she has lots of time to prepare. I’m not just talking packing.. I mean, hehe.. mentally. Yea, I’m messed.. why else would I write a digital diary to myself on something called ‘wordpress’? Gay, presses are for grapes.. everyone knows that.

And I think.. yea.. every time I can remember.. when it comes down to the eleventh hour.. I think about canceling. I don’t know why. I even know I’ll do it now.. it’s that predictable. But I never cancel (disproving the saying ‘those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it’ ? I remember and yet..). I have procrastinated, and often been late.. maybe that’s why I often get stressed out finding a way to the station/airport..hahah because it takes me that long to talk myself out of the door.

… does everyone do this? I don’t know. If they do they don’t admit it to me.

Even the times when I really wanted to escape, go anywhere.. just get out of ‘here’ (wherever I was at the time) .. as soon as I’m about to go my feet are tied to the ground. There’s a light chain that tugs keeps my ankles from crossing the threshold. And this is what I do – I pace the house, I look in cupboards and under things. People think I forgot something.

… no, I’m just.. .. I don’t know.. stalling?

I start to tidy things piled and stacked around my living quarters, most have remained untouched for 3 months or more.

I think about folding clothes… and, questioning my luggage.. and any scale I managed to find… is the scale correct? Can I really put another half lb. of stuff in there? .. What weighs .5 lb?

After hauling my crap down stairs (there are always stairs involved and I always bruise at least one shin and one knee .. if not both), I drag it to a curb or bus stop and wait.. for X minutes. Then when (or if; sometimes it never came and I had to drag my crap somewhere else and come up with a plan B or C) that carriage arrives.. it’s off to another spot to do more waiting… exchanging papers.. hockamaluie.. (yes, I made that word up. No I’m not Shakesphere or Palin. I just like saying stupid things.. read that out loud & you’ll see what I mean)

*sigh* and if you’re lucky, in less than 3 hours.. you find yourself strapped into a very upright position on a stiff piece of board that they tell you will float (I seriously doubt that). You get to watch some slapstick as people drop things on other people’s heads.. general mix-ups and of course there’s always a woman castrating her male partner in some verbal way… for being .. male or something.

This is about the time I shake my head, smile and close my eyes.

Day is done. I don’t care what happens next, if I sleep.. I wake up somewhere else. If I die – I wake up somewhere else. If I’m awake, I should find an excuse not to speak to the person next to me because it’s highly unlikely they will see my point of view and who wants to sit next to their polar opposite (knowingly) for 12 hours?

And that’s it.

That’s a holiday to me.

… those of you who are of a unifying, collective, philanthropic sort might say ‘well that’s self centered’ .. yes. It is. You’re right.

When you’re in transit it’s all about you! Haha, think about it.. no calls to answer or return – because you’re in the air. If you’re going to be late or early.. what does it matter? You’re not driving. There are waitresses who come around and don’t expect tips. Booze is free (on the long flights) and seemingly limitless.. if you space it out.. or do what I do – order 3 at a time haha.. hide 2 mini bottles and ask for another.

*Oh did you know on Singapore Airlines they have their OWN cocktail? Seriously, they mix a signature ‘Singapore Airlines MaiTai’ – even for the scruffies.. I mean eco. class (me). *

In Transit‘ is the answer to my life.

Yolanda, what is your purpose?

.. sorry, in transit.. I’ll get back to you on that ….. *mumbles* someday.

Why do you take so long to complete X (writing/burning/sewing/editing/eating(rarely but it does happen)/reading/ .. etc) Yolanda?

… because, I’m in transit. Yes… and I can’t bring sharp objects such as: quill pens, film splicers, sewing machines, uh.. or pointy books with me. They’re sealed in a compartment somewhere out of reach. Nothing I can do.

Yolanda, why can’t you think of anything interesting to say?

Because, I’m not currently in transit.. and have no destination to look fwd to.. so, keeping with YOUR advice and trying not to dwell on the past. I have nothing in the present to talk about.

…. *dramatic pause …. and on to Act III *

Another incentive to travel is when you find no reason to stay.

If a ship has no anchor, will it cling to the shore?

I suppose timber can never go back to the woods, can it? The other trees would treat it as fremd… in any forest (‘alien’ or ‘foreigner’ didn’t seem to fit the sentence).

… you just know someone’s going to use that word against me in Scrabble.. and I’ve been playing so good lately!


About yolandalenin

I talk a lot. ______________________________________________________________________ I write even more.
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