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Random Excerpts from 30,000 Feet

10/18/2011

In the last entry I talked a little about the notebook full of random ravings. Over the next month or so I’m going to try and clean these up and construct a meaningful travelogue of the trip (and probably another couple essays) from it, but for now, I thought I’d give you all (if anyone is reading this) a little bit of the raw stuff, the words as they were put down on the page in turbulence.

Tokyo (Narita) Airport, Delta Sky Lounge

Pink t-shirt tucked into a studded belt and jeans printed with a suspect Oriental motif, the sort of cloud-patterns that adorn cell phone covers and tattoo parlors. His eyes are turning the same color as his hair which is the same color as his shirt from drink, as he intones in a language I can’t understand but with a low intonation that I extrapolate as wounded mousing at the significant other whose back is to me. I attempt to discern, dowse out my feelings about him but encounter only the grudging, probably condescending respect one gives the obliviously self-satisfied. If he turned his wrist over like a goose and bobbed it slowly back and forth he could be one of those Japanese lucky cat status they have in the front of sushi restaurants to appear authentic. Through my obsessive consumption of anime I have picked up a (very, very) rudimentarily assorted Japanese vocabulary. The language centers of my brain pick up a “nii-san” or a “Ikadakimasu!” or a “____ ja nai!” here and there and it’s awfully confusing but artificially comforting in the way white privileged suburbia must feel about top 40 music in the hip-hop era I keep catching myself noting, bovinely, how Japanese everything is. I place my soda-glass on the light wood railing and catch the cleaning lady standing like a track athlete a dozen feet away, ready to scoop my glass up with her ill-fitting bright pink gloves that clash terribly with her airport-employee faux-formalwear. The plane to Beijing has the same ludicrous amount of luxury as the one out of SF – I say “ludicrous” because unlike certain resorts or other experiences where the pampering is targeted or centered around a specific mode of customer-pleasure philosophy, luxury on a business-class flight seems like the result of a blackboard list of “things that are nice,” as yelled out across a crowded room by a random sampling of average persons: the tiny bottles of Evian on Coca-Cola napkins, the thick blanket saran-wrapped corpselike on the seat, the multidirectional seat control that eschews the advances of car manufacturers everywhere in favor of a dizzying display, which has a total of twelve arrow-emblazoned buttons all pointing in vague directions and connected by a thin yellow line not quite apparent enough to link each button to its (I presume) directional opposite. The result is a strange mosaic of chevrons. I push the one by the word “sleep” and recline…

There’s a lot of this, but it gets a little too snarky when I actually arrive in China (jet lag). Thankfully this goes away later (as the trip was AWESOME). Looking forward to posting the whole thing once it’s cleaned up in a few weeks!

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