There it was. Delta Flight 8843. The open doors were waiting for me to walk through them. They were waiting to take me away from my future. They were waiting to take me back home. But it wasn’t home anymore, not really. Here was home, is home.
I walked forward with the rest of my group. It was a forced walk. Head down, shoulders slumped, forcing my feet to keep going. Right, left, right again. At the top of the stairs I looked over my shoulders taking in one last inhale of smog. I made it through the door and found my seat next to Kelly. We both plugged in our ear buds and gave each other a solemn look. I reached to buckle my seat belt and hesitated for the inevitable click.
Chinese Fun Fact #1: Disregard all things polite—pushing and shoving is a way of survival.
“Passengers on Delta flight 7603 with service to Beijing, China, we will begin boarding those seated in zone one momentarily. I repeat, those seated in zone one only. Please stand by.” This is finally it! I can’t believe it--BAM. I didn’t even have time to take in the moment that I was actually going to China—CHINA!—before my luggage was knocked over and I was dragged and trampled across the airport floor by a pack of feisty Asians. Who knew momentarily boarding zone one meant a free for all for anyone waiting to leave the country?
Chinese Fun Fact #2: China is cheap, but everything has a cost.
BY PHILLIP WENTURINE
BY KENNETH NICHOLS
BY ALLISON SOBCZAK
BY RON BURCH
Kevin Fedarko, Outside
Peace from Everest / Sheila / Flickr
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