Monday, August 15, 2011

travel



I am about to do something really stupid.  Actually, I'm going to do two stupid things...in a row. 

I'm about to begin a series of posts breaking down my recent trip "back home".  I'm doing this because many of you have complained to me that my posts are too long and you are falling asleep in the middle of them.  I really was ready to say, "I'm not Leo Tolstoy, I'm just Janet, telling you, my friends and family, what's inside my heart!" Then, I realized you may have a point.  I think Charles Dickens and Leo Tolstoy (not that I compare myself to them) would have many more readers if they had shorter blogs (chapters in their books).   So okay, short, from now on.  Short and fluffy.

Now...to my stupid act #2.  I'm about to do a covert operation here in the Silver Lounge of Emirates Airlines.  I'm secretly going to get asian rice snack crackers from the buffet, put them in a bowl and  bring them back to the station where I am typing, in all of its mahogany-look wonder.

I don't care who the hell sees me...I'm controversial.   Then again, it might be allowed.

I'm typing from a desk nicer than my own in the Emirates Silver Business Class Lounge (I have never flown business class in my life, they just let me in because of our frequent-flier miles; we really rack them up). I don't remember joinging the Silver Club, but I'm not complaining or questioning right now.  The flight from San Francisco to Dubai is 14 hours, and I have a seven hour layover before I have to get on another plane going to Jozi (8 more hours). 

Being a great airline, Emirates provides relaxing lounges for its patrons to eat complimentary finger sandwiches and eat complimentary cookies and drink complimentary filtered coffee while they wait for their next flight.  The "normal lounge" is situated in the Dubai airport (a city) overlooking a man-made waterfall.  When I checked into the "normal" lounge to relax, they looked at my ticket, then told me that I could go to the Silver lounge instead. As I walked in here, harps and choir music broke out in my ears.  There, in front of me was a large living room with low lighting and sofas, leather chairs, a computer room, a  full bar, gourmet buffet and a large bathroom suite with a shower. I have been travelling for two days and I need all of these amentites.

Back to the asian cracker caper : I must be careful.  Here in the computer room there are others around.  So if I do go get them the loud, crunchy chewing might actually call attention to me, causing others to look up and see a weepy, crunching woman in a flashy rose covered dress purging  her innermost thoughts.  I do want to remain stealth. 

I am on my way "home" after a three week trip "back home" to see .

My trip...  that I have just completed was 20 days long, and done without Mario next to me.  It is in my mind's eye, remembered for who I saw (my parents, my siblings and my daughter, her daughter (s) and my son and his girlfriend)and who I didn't see ( my brother-in-law and his family, my two step sons and four of my grandchildren).

The visits were portioned out to accomodate maximum benefit for such a short time back. Nevertheless, I am headed back to Joburg, feeling a little weary but refreshed with a "shot" of  visiting, if only for awhile, my very precious family.  I wish that the refreshing were enough to quelch the haunting presence of grief, which I have had since leaving New Mexico.  I wish that the calling to be planted in South Africa and spread the love and power of God would be strong enough to quiet the questions in my heart.  Here, I have been processing all of the emotions that I have had throughout the trip.   

Since we have traveled so much, I have learned that the anonymity of high-speed international travel gives me a chance to reflect and remember what was good, what was hard, what I would do differently, next time.

In International airports, no one stops and asks if you're okay while you're sobbing into a kleenex-filled hand, because everyone is passing in a hurry to get somewhere. No one talks to you on a plane and asks deep questions.  No one says things like "Don't worry, honey, it will all be okay," when you do cry because they know not to open Pandora's box on an airplane. If sharing does come, no one ever says "Oh, well, I have an answer: Why not just move home if you miss them this much?"  People used to travelling (or those used to dealing with travellers) are friendly, but not familiar. They are polite, but not comforting.

After a trip like this, I am surrounded by those who politely do not want to know me or what the matter is. Just what I need....

I slept a whole ten hours on my last flight, and now I'm in the silver lounge with a tall bottle of Evian and a french wine that tastes like grape juice.  I don't ask, "Whose watching?" I don't care...
Read whichever posts you want they will be posted in order, from start to finish. 

Any questions? No? Good.