Friday, December 01, 2006

Written when I flew through London en route to the US

London, Monday morning.

Sitting on the Heathrow Express, I cannot help but smile. I feel like a fish out of water, yet it feels like I’m in Hong Kong. It feels familiar. Comfortable.

“At Paddington, catch the yellow line to South Kensington,” my friend had written. The Subway map shows familiar names: Piccadilly Circus. Wimbledon.

At S. Ken, the subway walkway she had suggested me to take is closed, so I walk out on the street, trying to find my bearings. It can’t be too tough, I think. Except roads seem to be winding in this city. But every street corner is clearly marked, and it takes me but seconds to figure out where I am and where I need to be going.

An old London taxi and a red, double-decker bus round the corner simultaneously. I smile. I’m in London.

The Victoria and Albert Museum towers majestically against the blue sky. Somehow, all the buildings on this street looks like they’ve just had a fresh coat of paint....

Heading eastward on Brompton, I walk past several high-end kitchen and bathroom stores. One sink is several times my neighbor’s annual salary. I keep wondering what it would be like walking along these roads with some of our kids, if someday, perhaps, Hillary or Alex will walk around London, if Josh will run a race in this city, if Scopia will come to London for work...

I pass book stores, wishing they were already open so I can spend time paging through beautiful books. Instead, I keep walking. Slowly. Decisively. I’m meeting a friend for breakfast today, something I’ve missed doing far too many weekends this year.

Sitting in a trendy London patisserie, enjoying the best latte I’ve had in months, I watch traffic going by. Red busses. Proper British gentlemen. Ladies in hats. Waiters in crisp black and white uniforms. Stern people with funny accents. Not that the Brits sound funny to me.

I listen to worship music on my iPod. “Hallelujah to the King!” The King. My travel companion. My life companion.

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