I am sure glad this one is over. Deep breath, now. And a bit of patience. We’ll see what curious gifts 2011 brings us and what we can manage to reap ourselves. For now, time to travel again, to let go and get lost into much open space, to drift purposefully, resetting watches and mindsets.
While my dear Marie flies across the Atlantic towards southern latitudes and a healing summer, the good old Adirondack Amtrak train will first carry me some five or six hundred kilometers north to a few acres of snow, to the country that isn’t a country but Winter, and loved ones.
Then I’ll run back down to New York on my iron horse and a couple of days later, riding the very last waves of a late December, I’ll fly eastward too – first aiming much further north than usual, over North Africa and landing in Dubai for a night.
The quirks of air travel being what they are, the cheapest available flight to Cape Town was also the one I childishly most wanted: a chance to fly on the mesmerizing A380 Airbus double-decker, largest commercial flying machine ever built by humankind.
Depending on my condition after a 12:30 hour flight at Mach .85 – given that I will have a good seat, 1200 channels of video entertainment and a power outlet for my laptop – I’m hoping to drop my bags at the hotel (graciously provided by my airline because of a long layover) and bounce right back out to jump on the subway and go perform the ultimate touristic seppuku: a visit of the Burj Khalifa Tower, tallest building in the world at 828 meters (2716 ft.) and 160 stories.
Even dazzled by the city’s outrageous eccentricity, I don’t think I will be able to forget that some 1500 kilometers to the northeast, people are still dying, most of them innocent, within one of the most shameful war sores on the face of the present Earth.
The following day will see me back aboard a plane, overflying the eastern flank of the great African continent and arriving in South Africa’s Western Cape just on time to bid the old year farewell and welcome the new one, among flowers and more loved ones.