Campari Soda
[02.05.07]

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A small part of deep blue Sky, bordered by the misty White of the atlantic air humidity is visible through the window. The silver wing of our Airbus 340 bends like the blade of a saber in the turbulent air.

As during every long distance flight my feelings are mixed and divided into both tension and peace, a contradiction which threatens to tear me appart from within during these hours of almost endless waiting. As every other time on an international flight I look forward to the new things I am about to experience, and at the same time I feel the slight worry or homesickness of leaving family, friends and colleagues behind. The well trodden paths of my Life I've left behind and I will try out new, exciting roads.

The thin air outside rushes past the thin metal skin of the A340 at a speed of 450 knots, and the sound reminds me of my own blood which is being pumped through my body with every beat of my heart. Even if she's only a machine, the Airbus is something alive, something breathing, carrying me over the Atlantic Ocean to a still unknown country with unknown adventures.

You just have too much time think, sitting here imprisoned above soft white clouds. I think about what I will see when we arrive at our destination, and even more about what Life will be like when I return home after five weeks. I think about my successes and victories, about failures and mistakes, about all the open questions tha make up Life.

The Swiss band Taxi have epressed it almost perfectly in their song "Campari Soda", recorded in the eighties and now reborn in the advertisment for Swiss Airlines, this melancholy and joy every flying traveller experiences when airborne, when you see the two engines, sense the aircraft swaying gently in the air...

The World out there, outside of those two very thin layers of acryl, is cold and hostile, but at the same time it's exactly this Sky that I love so much , which has attracted me all my Life.

But not like this, not sitting in an uncomfortable, tourist-filled aluminium can. Real Flying is something totally different - and that's exactly what I'm going to do in a few months time. But this is another story and thus will have to be told another time.

Now I sit an a four-engine Airbus A340 airliner, not a single engine Hunter jet fighter, and the big heavy 340 can not be compared at all with the sleek and agile fighter with which I will tickle the Alps this autumn.
You know the difference between an Airbus 340 and a brick? Put both on the runway, and the firts of the two to get airborne, that's the brick! I think there is no other airliner with a climb rate worse than the 340 - it's four CM56 engines just don't cut it. Because of the 340 they even had to lower the controll zone around Zurich airport, thus making it almost impossible to fly other planes from nearby airstrips!

But back from the World of Aviation to the World inside me. Hm, I remember a similar flight more than ten years back, roughly the same direction, roughly the same distance. Already then I brought my thoughts and feelings to paper (it was my first voyage abroad alone).
Now I ask myself whether the me-then and the me-today had the same thoughts and believes, the same dreams. Sadly I can't read it anymore as I lost the document somewhere, but I think what was true for me then is still true now. Somehow also nice to think that it hasn't changed and that I've kept true to my Dreams. The Truth still is the Truth after all, yes?

Enough typing for now, I need a drink!

I take another Campary Soda… 

 

Epilogue:

Now after we've landed in Cayenne Rochambeau the familiar hammer of high humidity, hot temperatureas and exotic scents knocks me from the etheral spheres back down to Earth, back to Reality. As always after such a flight I look back to the machine that brought me here all those thousands of miles, and I think it is a very nice little thing after all, this A340

A few swallows circle over the aircraft and sing their funny little song and I laugh out loud.

It's good to have arrived and now the adventure really starts...

 

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