Thursday, January 17, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

Hong Kong, 6pm, Thursday. I am at the airport, waiting to board my flight to Sydney. And suddenly, a number of pieces just clicked into place. First --

(Now for those of you are saying, wait a minute, what happened to Hong Kong?, please, just be patient. It may take me a couple days, but I'll get there. A three word preview: Skyline. Cantonese. Vertigo.

But since you brought the topic up, Hong Kong has a message right now for Manhattan: You might be an apple, you might be a big apple, but next to us, you're more like a plum. Or maybe a date. Or a raisin.)

So anyway, in the airport. Sudden cold sweat, not sure why. And the penny drops. I'm going to Sydney. SYDNEY.

For those of you uninterested in American pop culture of the last few years, this may mean nothing. You might find yourself "lost" in this conversation. But for "others"... well, planes flying to and from Sydney sometimes land someplace ... else. Or so ABC tells me.

My plane is boarding soon. Gotta make this quick. On top of that sudden flash, I realize that in my carry on bag I have the first three seasons of Lost, the TV show about the plane from Sydney that vanishes and ends up on an island where crazy roaring monsters eat people and other people who live on the island hunt us down.

So, what we're dealing with is immediate and major bad karma. It's like talking about a plane crash on a plane. You don't do that. Not just because it freaks everyone else out (as fellow Red Cloud teacher Mike Shashaty proved to me when he spent about ten minutes in a plane (during a snowstorm, I am reminded by his wife) talking (loudly) about what if this plane crashes); it's just bad luck. I believe in a merciful God, a loving God. But let's not push our luck.

And I would toss the DVDs out right now if I hadn't been forced at the last minute to check the bag. Lke it or not, it's on the plane. The plane I'm getting on. The plane going to Sydney.

I'm at the gate. Plane's boarding. And I see it in the window: my flight. It's flight 815.

And I'm sitting next to a lady in handcuffs.

So -- basically, see you in 20 years...

The funny thing is, instead of being freaked out, all I want to know is, which one am I? I can't be the Jin, I speak English. Not quite the wisecracker that is Sawyer. Probably intense enough to do a Jack, but nah. Not exactly me.

Which leaves either two possibilities: faceless other passenger #17, who helps builds the fire and gathers around when Jack calls us. Or I'm that goofy science teacher who blows himself up.

So, should be a good trip.

See you Down Under. Hong Kong photos/stories then.