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looking forward to a very short visit next week. Apr 3, 2010   Beijing, China, Travel

like a not very well organized suitcase on a back trip, the collection of thoughts and observations allows for good arrangements, but only for those who take their time to make them. and every little object is somehow related to another little object. the world is contained in each and all of them together as well.

in the past 12 months or so, i managed to circumvent the world no less than six times, a database told me. and yet i feel as if i were coming from the moon, and still the world appears a distant blue marble against the backdrop of the infinite soup of the universe.

i learn something tiny with every flight. i am getting better at selecting seats that allow me to look out the window during the day, and to sleep relatively undisturbed at night. 
i try to select airlines that bring me to certain places in a certain way. and i prefer the ones that treat me in a certain way when i am on board. the ability to make the choices themselves is probably the main luxury i managed to carve out of the experience of having been in the air so much.

there are always surprises, of course. and sometimes they are good. sometimes not so great. and every next flight is a mystery. one plane recently was almost empty, probably because not many people like to fly on passover, leaving that to a particular breed of angels. then the flight coming back was so full because of the upcoming easter, that i ended up being pushed forward to one of the most comfortable seats. the ones that earn two chocolate bunnies per flight.

going to beijing next. on tuesday. for two days. and i know already that my internal clock will not arrive on time, and that i will be lost in a debilitating chamber of jet lag. 12 hours of time difference after an almost 14 hour flight. it is going to be bad. perhaps even horrible.
and i will need to be awake during the day. more than awake really.
what i am going to beijing for is certainly not sightseeing.

and in some ways i have been there for the last few nights already. a beijing assembled from little snippets of stories about the city, and even from whatever my brain seems to think about the world at large. 
so what will need to happen is for my wrong expectations to trade places with over millennia assembled reality and for my old assumptions to trade place with completely fresh observations.

it happened that way all of the recent journeys. perhaps on all journeys ever taken?
oh yes, i remember it being much more difficult after watching too much television.
but for the innocent mind, the one that wants to see and learn all anew, the quote “everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it” still feels very valid…

and with the proper exploration of any little object really, the meta picture of understanding the world gets better and better. and it is the “better” in the emotional meaning of the word. i will never be able to assume any rational improvements.

and so my feelings about beijing are completely innocent. someone on the last call mentioned “we will feed you things you have never eaten in your life.” and i know it is going to happen. and it will take me years and years for my mind to improperly digest them.


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