The Commute

bkk
Bangkok skyline

The Commute

A young girl stands weeping,
Waiting in line to board the plane.
Behind her a family of four
Shuffle forward their assortment of
Bags and purchases.
Teenagers splayed out on the floor,
Entangled phone chargers and
Preoccupied chatter.
Tannoy announcements ripple in the distance,
White noise to all.

Outside, convoys of suitcases
Zig-zag across the concrete apron –
The sky painted grey and about to strike.
This motley queue of human cattle
Inches forward,
Marking territory, clenching fists.
Talk of putting “a man on Mars” seems over-stretched,
As the minutes tick by and I wonder why
Putting one hundred people
On an airplane appears so much of a test.

We are airborne as my eyes open
And wince through the glare of the clouds,
Broken up and disappearing.
Many thousands of feet below and Monday morning
Crankily tilts on its axis.
The ennui of emails, the promise of lunch.
As tail winds pick up, the urban fringes of Saigon blur,
Our metallic tube arcs over Cambodian borders,
Paddy-fields and water buffalo,
Agrarian pastures – a daily grind of different stock.

Through glimpses of rubber smoke we land,
Suvarnabhumi airport, again.
Ten years of touching down here,
Too familiar a pilgrimage,
On auto-pilot
My toes twitch as I wait once more.
The young girl has long stopped her tears and stands nearby,
Nodding politely at the customs official –
Breathing in new beginnings,
Or the tingle of something left behind?

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When in Cambodia…

Always time for a quick cuppa in Cambodia
Always time for a quick cuppa in Cambodia

I have popped my Siam Reap cherry.

By which I am not inferring some kind of South East Asian euphemism, I simply mean: I finally have been – copious photographic evidence below to attest to the fact – to Angkor Wat.

Our parents have visited Angkor Wat.  Our visiting friends, too.  All the backpackers that shuffle their blackened feet and crusty vests across this spectacular chunk of the world, have been to Angkor Wat (it’s only $20 for a day’s entrance, to boot) and, without exception, every ex-pat I have met these past two and a half years in Saigon has been about four or five times.

I’ll confess early-doors, I am not the most accomplished and well researched of tourists, even when it comes to seminal, life enhancing trips such as this one. Continue reading