Ok, the title shows my age. But a facebook post from a colleague (oh, yeah, who happens to be my boss), writing his thoughts on a train to Québec city made me think of my own experience of today, sitting in a plane for 8 hours on my way to Montréal.
Not because we were late leaving by one hour, wait that was only enlightened by the pilot’s humour in describing in almost real time the reasons for us being late (mixup in the baggage loading, then nobody to remove the boarding gate, then the guy who’s supposed to move the plane out of the boarding area just left without notice). But because this plane was taking me from he country I elected to live from the country were I was born, the city where I spent some of my best time.
Flying for me is rarely a burden, once I’m in the plane. Actually, once I’ve cleared security and am waiting to board. Then the calm reaches me; all I need to do is sit and be taken care of. Even when, while watching the beginning of « The Fight Club » on the onboard video system, I watch an « in flight collision », three days after dreaming of experiencing an airline crash on take off. I am not a frequent flyer by any measure, but air travelling is not a problem for me.
But every now and then, I get to fly back home from home. I get to return to Montréal, Québec, from Le Chesnay France. This does often put me in curious positions. Like an hour ago when, in the hotel’s elevator, I meet two people from France. I recognise the accent, then automatically switch to my « France » accent and behave just like any other person from France visiting. But earlier, coming back from the airport, I talked to the taxi driver as any other quebéquois would have done. I do like this situation. Makes me think that I have taken out the best of both worlds. I also remember this big map of France that I put up on my appartment wall, back when going to France was not even a possibility yet. Back then it was a wish.
It also take me away from my family, my two beloved daughter and Nathalie, the woman I love. And bring me back to my family, my two other brothers and my parents who still live here. Even though I am briefly far away from the family I have participated to build, I am also briefly closer to the family who saw me grow up. Airplanes get me to go from one to another in only a few hours.
Automobiles will not see me much here. This may be a proof that I am only a visitor here nowadays. I used to drive the streets of Montréal daily, without hesitation, knowing where to go. I have this feeling driving in the Paris area nowadays. I’m much more familiar with Versailles and Paris than I would be in Laval or the east end of Montréal. But if I was to come back here, it would all come back very quickly.
Planes, trains & Automobiles take us to our lives at the speed at which they evolve, or at the distances where they happen.