Friday, November 2, 2012

Skipping Sandy while Skipping Time

Hong Kong International Airport by Shizhao
This is not how the journey to Thailand and Cambodia was meant to be. I was planning on using my last few days to plan, research, take care of the laundry list of final details (including a wax). Hurricane Sandy erased all of my best laid plans.

Instead, I spent my last sleepless night in the devastated East Village going to bed at 7:30 by candlelight, tossing and turning in the din of police headlights, hoping that I would actually get on a flight to Bangkok okay. I got a goodbye hug from my nephew and later from my friend Beth last night. They both stood outside my dark building yelling out my name until I came to the window. No phone, no text, no buzzer could announce a visiting guest in the aftermath of Sandy. They climbed the stairs in the darkness (no working elevator), armed with the requisite East Village accessory - the flashlight.

This morning, I waited til the sun came up, hastily packed and then headed to the fridge. I got a big garbage bag and threw out a wealth of half rotting goodies in the freezer - my recently made coconut pumpkin muffins, homemade chorizo mushroom pizza, my perfected recipe for turkey burgers, frozen meats of all kind, Thai chilis grown by my friend Laura's mother, and the coveted Trader Joes pumpkin ice cream. It's seasonal. So much for that.

I prayed that my ride to the airport would turn up as I had no way of contacting the shuttle van if it was running late (no phone service, no emails). Thankfully, at 10 am, with the aid of my neighbors who held a flashlight as I lugged my bag down the dark flights of stairs, I spotted the waiting van, and just like that, was whisked out of darkness and Sandy's wrath. Got to JFK in under an hour.

I am at the Hong Kong airport now, skipping time, waiting for my flight to Bangkok. It's just past 8 pm. Excited for the big lights of Bangkok to come into view. And for the meals to begin. But with a part of me so pained by the sorrow I just left behind.