2021: Learning From Lockdown... Part 5!
For me to learn from this extended period of lockdown I feel it is needed for me to look back at the final quarter of 2019, things flowed with such a rhythm. Professionally I was making moves and sure other things cropped up but I had those things under control, the rest was utterly superficial. Going to a bar/nightclub was second nature, flying on a plane felt normal and then..!
A £600.00 return flight from Beijing to Singapore? Yes, I paid with those coins that I had worked for, that Singapore Airlines flight would be the one for me! Now, when I think about the amount that flight set me back, I sure think what my current financial situation looks like? Different compared with that time of opulence and high expenditure. Being the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PRC, the airspace would be closed off during a large chunk on the 1st of October 2019. I had my flight pushed forward to 00:00 am instead of 08:00 am, when I think about the trepidation that I felt in that moment I could kick myself into touch! Now, it has been one year since I sat my ass down on a plane, that superficial time change was nothing in the grand scheme of things. Flying with such a schedule in the future won't make me think twice, I will get on with it because having the opportunity to fly again with be an immense triumph! Learning from this lockdown goes right back to that October 1st 2019 moment! Miss Rona! Bye!
Seoul, South Korea for the night? On the night of my Nephew's birth I found myself booking a cheeky night away in the then not so far away Korean Peninsula. Being in Beijing, the flight was barely one hour! In this 2021 lockdown moment I feel immensely blessed that the universe and Miss Rona allowed me to have that night out! On a level like no other, I knocked the beers back whilst three female Chinese passengers tried to get my attention. They nor spoke English nor Korean, I understood their request and asked the crew member who was onboard that KE flight to assist them with a few customs cards because they were unable to communicate. I felt so proud that I was able to flex my Chinese translation skills in that moment, nowadays I find myself talking Chinese to myself because 我老家的人不会说中文! 是的, 我非常不开心! That's right! Owen made me do the right thing! Stay in the pub all day and then to book a holiday! On a deeper level, the idea of having a night out feels alien to me! Get me a bottle of Soju! Over it all!
To what would be the final time that I would see T3 at Beijing Capital Airport in a lively state, I sipped on my 星巴克 before proceeding through airport security. I made the mammoth 15 hour direct flight from Beijing to Newark, NJ with United. I had to get my first ever USA tourist visa because Trump had announced that North Korea was on the banned list, I was no longer eligible to use an ESTA to enter the USA again. The feeling that I felt as I was barked at by the Red Coat as I failed my automated customs check made me feel as if it was 2012 all over again. I had worked as a Passenger Services Agent for Virgin Atlantic during 2012 for the year as part of my placement. After seven years of separation, I found myself on a PATH train headed towards Newark's Historic Downtown! The whole experience was humbling if not earth shattering when the NPD Helicopter circled above! The empty Sunday morning Downtown streets sent me into a Brick City moment! I would recognise that stillness in 2020 as a normal lockdown view! Dios!!!!!