Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Over and Back

I'm probably the only travel writer to spend two weeks in Provence and not dedicate a syllable to it.  I did write about the flights..

Midwest summer clouds throw great shadows upon the plains.  Yet this is Siberia.  The plains are intercut by the amoebic grey blotches of cities.  I once flew a similar course in winter, from Seoul to London, over a Siberia that was colored an endless white, interrupted only by the massive black gashes of rivers.

As I am flying KLM, the announcements are in Japanese, English, and Dutch.  The latter sounds like a record played backwards.  I am wedged into my window seat, surrounded mainly by large Europeans.  They like to stand for long intervals, unlike the Japanese whose heads dangle like jewelry, bobbing with the fits of turbulence.  The Europeans like to watch you as you pass, making your way to the washrooms.  

Over Holland now, a veritable forest of wind turbines, both onshore and off.

Amsterdam Schiphol airport clean and tiny, smelling of the tulips for sale everywhere.

Flight south toward the Mediterranean, passing directly over the snow-tipped spikes of the Alps. Villages wallow in the green grassy spaces between.

A great circle over the sea, above the whitecaps of cruise liners and pleasure boats.  Then Nice. 

And on the return, all is cloud.  We arc close to the pole, but I never see it.  The only views to be had are out beyond the long grey horizon of the wing. The moon hangs full above, in a sky that never completely goes dark.     

As the smoke is birthed from the kiss of rubber and tarmac, it is a day later, and I am a year older.

On the turntable:  The Wolfgang Press,  "Queer"

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