Sydney to Incheon- 9 hours. Stop over- Seoul. Long shower, short nap and laps in the pool. Incheon to Charles De Gual- 12 hours. Two trains, one new friend and a rude encounter with an information official. Second train, extended ride. Sleep occurs. Station is missed. Exit station past for return passage. Arrival. Taxi gone. Breathe. Breathe. Glamorous woman smiles. Bonjour Madam. Madam Janine, professeoure de la Francais. A promise. a discussion, a sunset and Madam Janine's husband arrives. 23 minutes in the back seat of a foreign car. Arrival. One gate. Lights off. Telephone call, attendant appears. Welcome. Door. More welcome. Door, window, tour, room. Bed collapse.
For two and a half days my body was in transit. It stopped, started, was filtered and processed. My journey made me dwell on the trajectory of those around me. The man with the checked shirt and beard, the elderly couple who always seemed to beat me through customs. There was Ben the West Australian retracing the journey of his grandfather and Madam Janine with whom I had a conversation that will remain with me for a long time to come. These are temporary, intermittent people for me as I am for them. We do not seek to ground ourselves in each others history nor do we make plans for a future with them around, yet they share a moment that occurs due to a missed train, delayed flight or adjacent seat in a theatre.
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