22 October 2008

Back to California, for now

I have temporarily returned to Los Angeles to take care of a few work-related items. This won't last long, however; before I know it, I will find myself back in Seoul.

My journey across the Pacific today had quite a few reminders of Sarah, though I have no photos to show for it. First, as I arrived at Incheon Airport, I was able to see a row of flags representing the dozens of nations that currently maintain passenger and/or cargo service to the airport; the sight of Stars and Stripes there immediately reminded me of Sarah and her employer.

I waited at the Asiana Airlines lounge before departure, during which I monitored various Asiana departures. A good number of the Asiana departures had United codeshare flight numbers; they would handle the connecting passengers from United 893, the daily nonstop flight from San Francisco that arrives every early evening (and definitely a route Sarah works). Conversely, my Asiana flight back to Los Angeles carried a United flight number as well, so that passengers would be continuing on to the rest of the US with Sarah's colleagues.

As my Asiana flight to Los Angeles started taxiing away from the gate, it passed by a new satellite terminal, just opened this past summer, which handles all foreign airlines. I was able to catch a distant glimpse of a United 777 parked at a gate, sporting the new white/blue paint job. My immediate thought was: Sarah has just arrived in Seoul, as I am leaving. The 777 is Sarah's favorite aircraft model to work in (and also my favorite to fly in - my Asiana flight was also a 777, and it featured video-on-demand.) The sight of Sarah's plane made me smile.

My Asiana flight crossed the Pacific at 750 mph, thanks to strong tailwinds, and before too long, I was making landfall - right over Pacifica, Sarah's birthplace and teenage hometown. The Bay Area was crystal clear, and I had a good view of everything, even from an altitude of 39,000 feet; I could see the Golden Gate Bridge, which always tells Sarah that she's come home, as well as her later Berkeley home. I even had an excellent view of Sarah's home base - San Francisco International Airport. I almost wanted to shout out loud: "Hi Sarah!" Never mind that Sarah had just arrived in Seoul as I left - and her plane was to sit at Incheon Airport overnight.

During the flight (which nevertheless added up to over ten hours - though it felt short thanks to the video-on-demand system), I kept thinking of a few things related to Sarah. I am thinking that I will need another dinner scene between myself and Sarah, now that many changes have been made to the storyline. Preferably, I want to meet her during my Hong Kong excursion. If I don't end up in Hong Kong, we will meet in Seoul, and take a drive together in my rental car. Either way, it'll be very interesting writing either scene.

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