It was one hell of a trip, but the arrival– truly divine! Goodness, where to begin! It seems I should be writing something genuinely profound, when in fact I’m feeling fairly speechless.
But let me start by saying the travel got underway routinely. At the Lexington airport I ran into Abby Tripp, a colleague from the UK Writing Program on her way to New York. The trip to Atlanta proved uneventful. I easily made my connecting flight to Tokyo–a mind-numbing 14 hours in the air. However, upon landing in Japan my good fortune turned a little less lucky.
We had been warned in flight that Japanese quarantine officials would enter our plane to collect health documents we had all been required to complete. What Delta flight attendants failed to mention, however, was that medical personnel would board in full HAS-MAT gear–respirators and all–take the temperatures of the over 300 occupants of our plane via a thermal scanner and hold us at the gate until they felt certain EVERYONE was healthy. Of course, the one suspect sicky sat DIRECTLY behind me, so our section was forced to remain on the plane for a good hour and a half after arrival at the gate. Not surprisingly, I missed my flight to Vietnam and was forced to spend the night at a Tokyo Holiday Inn, which might have felt fun, had I not been so pissed and cursed with the most blinding of headaches. Apparently SARS and Bird Flu affected the Japanese psyche more profoundly than Westerners might have imagined–flu-fucked, if you will.
To make along story, a little less lengthy, I caught a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the following morning and am safely settled in our Saigon apartment. To say it’s amazing to see S. again, sounds cliched, not to mention under-stated, but, God, I finally feel at home–safe–not so much in Saigon–but in the arms of the one I cherish–divinity, bliss, the biggest and most profound of blessings. I breathe in, breath out, exhaling two months’ separation, taking in again the woman I adore!