First Time at Kai Tak

The smell invades the cabin
greets us… first taste of Hong Kong.
Huge mountain—filling my vision,
impossibly close;
raising the hairs down my spine.
Passive indifference of fourteen hours exhaustion
seeping out of me,
replaced with explosive nervousness.
Stomach lurches sideways as we bank
affording a view into passing homes.
Atmosphere changing:
first timer stress, old hand bluff,
yearning for home—
or solid ground;
anticipation of a dog tired crew.
An almost tangible tingle ripples
through the cabin—
excited murmurs, engine roar,
nothing distinct, vague essence—
thrill and fear.
Then again,
looking into someone else’s life;
twisting and banking through high rise,
crazy descent
intended for birds, not man.
Rancid smell rising again, seeping
through the plane, the dampness of the typhoon,
recent and returning. Dank, rotten
and in conflict with the buzzing metropolis
stretched out in sprawling urban chaos below.
The rain is coming now, hurling itself at the
toy-like window, another obstacle
to my safe arrival.
Relief as we finally land and I look out,
see sea,
only sea,
and rain down the window like streamers.

© Ammie-oy 2010


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