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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The window seat

As a child, whenever I was flying, I would, of course, always pick the window seat. My dad was then working in both Malaysia and Singapore, so he had to fly off every other week, and sometimes my mom and I would follow.

I loved those moments when we were taking off, or before we were landing, where I would see everything spread out like miniatures beneath me. Cars, buildings, the land, becoming smaller as I fly, or seeing them reemerging into view as I was to reach my destination.

However, in recent years after I became a filmmaker, as I became flying with regularity, the aisle seat became my first choice. I've been taking 10+ hour flights almost every month nowadays. It's more practical to sit on a spot where it's easier for me to head to the toilet.

That's what growing up is like, the simple little pleasures in life replaced by practicality, hence they end up being forgotten, neglected, scoffed at as childish whims.

As I am writing this, I'm on a midnight flight to Tokyo. A trip I didn't really want to divulge much for the sake of quelling the worries of friends and family who are bothered by the situation in Japan now. I've been hearing enough of the word 'radiation' to last me a lifetime. Nor do I want to hear people who questioned the sanity of my parents who allowed me to fly.

Only 24 hours have passed since I flew back from Hong Kong, and I'm already flying again. As usual, I chose the aisle seat. The flight is somewhat empty, most passengers around me are Japanese returning to their own country.

The window seat beside me was empty, and as the plane took off, I glanced out at the window and noticed the night scenery below me, gradually becoming smaller, I looked at the surprisingly complex network of roads lit up by beautiful street lights, the moving dots of lights that are cars. It felt like an impressionistic painting that moves, and I found myself somehow remembering the child who once loved the window seat and its view.