I’ve landed this one so many times. From sun and warmth and Naarm to grey and cold and Berlin — You talking about the taxi drivers, Frances? I’m talking about the … never mind.
I thought it was called a Sun Dog. Similar, but different. It’s a Glory. Last time I saw a glory was flying into London to work with Onyx on Take This, For It Is My body, early morning end-October last year. That time, the plane raced along at its centre, as a shadow on the ground.
It’s an early morning thing, and cold morning one. This time I wasn’t sure it was real or just my eyes diffracting the scratched plastic and glass of the window. It came and went for some minutes, waning and waxing then departing as we altered course. It wasn’t very pronounced, but still, sun glory over the Baltic, flying from Helsinki to Berlin on the last leg of my first return to Naarm / Melbourne in a decade.
I find a quiet byway and stretch myself out. Old habit of transfers, me on the floor in an airport. Later, I go to the bathroom and give my face a scrub and moisturise, brush my teeth. New habit of transfers. My nose is Australian Red from the sun, and compression socks scratch my sunburn. Also a new habit — the socks, that is.
Home for the next nine and an half hours. Tail Cam view of Cathay Pacific Airbus A350–900 flight AY5834, Melbourne to Hong Kong. The food was well up to remembered standards of Cathay.
That went quickly.
Also in keeping with the theme of obvious symbolism I’ve been on the receiving end of the last couple of days, here’s a Thai Airways plane getting prepped for departure.
Who put this there, Emile? It’s all new.
Suitcase arrived. Panda looking well smug after 24 hour solo flight from Helsinki. Sunset as the change moves in on the end of a 30° summer day. I know this weather.
Bumped into window seat of first row in Business Class on the hope it’d get me out the door quicker to catch my Hong Kong connection. Skansfjärden, Salmen, Rönnskär, Kyrkogårdsön, Porkkala, Lillkanskog, Björkholmsfjärden, Friggesby, Gunnarskulla.
Arrived. Panda’s taking the long way around, tho’.
Ten years since my last pass through here. Too long. Way too long. The flight went over Guangzhou, I thought of my friends I haven’t seen for all that time, Michael Garza, Long Yunna, Izumi Nikaido, Tian Yaping. Next time, and make next time this year.