Back in the bubble

The hairy foreigner
March 27, 2011
The perils of Winchmore Hill
April 3, 2011

Back in the bubble

SSCN0683.jpgThe vastness of Beijing airport makes Heathrow Terminal 5 look like a provincial bus station.  Inside I watch the check-in crew line up for their formal morning briefing, standing to attention and holding their schedules in front of them while their supervisor doles out the daily orders – I take a few notes on management style.

Inside, I find the familiar international brands, Dior, Omega, Bulgari; a man at the counter shouts at a check in girl; someone shoves me out of the way to get to through security and my breakfast costs more than all the other food I have eaten in Beijing put together – I have definitely re-entered the business class bubble.

I spend time reflecting on my journey – it has been fairly modest compared to some of the epic voyages undertaken by others I have met.  However, I have traced a 5,500 mile line across the face of the Earth – that may sound cheesy but my ‘ground level experience’ has felt very different and has allowed me time to soak up much more of what I have seen along the way.  And I know the spell will be broken the moment my plane leaves the ground for Heathrow – a mere 11 hours away.

Part of me would like to keep going – to get on another train and cross China, Tibet, Nepal, India?  But the need to see my family feels like a stone in my chest and the other part of me is more than ready to go home.

One of the surprising joys of the process has been writing a blog on an, almost, daily basis; it has forced me to think a little more deeply about the whole experience and I am grateful to Jan for twisting my arm to make me do it.  The fact that people have followed my posts and added comments is an added bonus – so, thank you. (At last count I had over 700 hits so I assume you didn’t all land here by accident whilst surfing for internet porn).  Having got the bug I will undoubtedly make some more posts although they will probably be a bit more mundane in the immediate future.

I spot Henk and Kevin rolling through security – to date I have met them in Moscow, Listvyanka, the Gobi desert, a railway station in Beijing and on top of the Great Wall.  I’m going to say goodbye – I suspect this will be for the last time.

2 Comments

  1. andy smith says:

    welcome back to the real world allan , hope to see you in september for the 25th wedding anniversary of your uncle aiden in poole , safe journey home and say hi to all

  2. LYNDA SMITH says:

    don’t forget to write the book. Your Mum was in China during the riots visiting Ian. I believe she got out by the skin of her teeth. Hope you are now home rested & being pampered by your children & wife. I will miss my daily read. WELL DONE

    Lynda

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