(these are the little left over in-between bits)

feb 27 2002

The aircraft passenger window has triple paned plexiglass with a small hole drilled in the center pane to balance the pressure. There is moisture trapped inside the windows and small ice crystals have formed inside on the outermost pane- they resemble tiny unborn snowflakes caught in time. The crystals are clustered around the small hole in the center pane with a few scattered further out. Behind them, down below, is an endless sea of clouds. Somewhere down there people are just waking up to a new day.

Non-stop cities for two weeks now, kind of nice since there is always something new to take in at every turn. Tiring, trying to eat well, and adjust to constantly changing sleep schedules. In Japan it is hard, or maybe impossible for me to tell where one city ends and another begins, even the small cities are endlessly sprawling until you move into the rural farm speckled countryside. I love the train tracks because they do not have retaining walls to cut off the view as you slice through the cities, it feels more personal than the highways. Maybe a little frightening, overly modern and unchecked growth. I love the small, tucked away, pockets of cozy, the stores peeking out of every nook you look in.

I like a plane ride in the middle of a trip, it is like a miniature office complete with desk, chair, and overhead light. The forced sit-still time is perfect to catch up on postcards and thinking. Eat a meal without cooking, cleaning, or paying while sorting out the days passed. Slow down and recover for just a little bit before being launched back into the push and shove hustle of on the road again.

Stephen points out, 'from up here you can see the curvature of the earth,' and it is true, or at least it appears that way.

I may have inadvertantly stolen some words from our correspondence, wrote them down and then wanted them too. Didn't want to let go so easily. I hope you do not mind.

The last day before I left on the trip, I took a walk at night around town. I wanted to store it in my memory for later, something steady to keep inside and compare with what I would encounter. Now it is coming back and it feels so far away but not different, just waiting for me to return and make it real again. There is something constant between the two, the was-then and here-now. People bring home with them when they travel, they carry home on their backs.

Bangkok is a crazy fucked up disaster of a city; I haven't even left and I already miss it. It depresses, angers and frequently amazes me. Bye bye.

On our way east over the Pacific ocean, we passed through night at twice the normal speed. An early morning sunrise on the clouds, with stars pacing along our sides.