21 January 2006

Vacation Begins

Today Socrates and I hang out at gate 32 of the international terminal of Chiang Kai Shek International Airport. If there's a surefire way to get into the gate area without a ticket, it's a time machine. Course, we had to land in a bathroom stall, which required some scrupulous planning and still ended up a little awkward.

We find Anna Horkey and Quondam-Anne waiting for an airplane. They are boarding a flight to Bangkok in about an hour. We’re sitting with our backs to them and overhearing them talking about computers and viruses. They're tired. The three and a half hour bus ride from ChiaYi to Taipei made them sick to their stomachs, though the seats were capacious.

"Well, there was the semester," says Quondam-Anne. "I suppose now would be as good a time as any to begin reflection on how that all went."

"I can feel my back muscles loosening up. They feel better than they have in weeks," asserts Anna.

On Thursday night the pair cleaned and cleaned and cleaned in the E6 classroom, beginning with the light fixtures, the filthiest thing I have ever seen in my life, and ending with the little tears they dropped on the ground after five hours, not even satisfied with the fruit of their labours. The window scrubbing left them only panes of smears. On top of that, thy mixed the floor cleanser incorrectly, leaving the nice redwood floor covered in a cloudy residue.

But they left. Against odds, they secured tickets from the bus station. (There were really only very few odds against, but they were afraid that they might be left out in the cold after what Molly’s father said to them upon exiting the Practice Hotel that morning: “It sure would be a shame if you couldn’t get bus tickets”. Shortly thereafter the pair swore that they'd make the flight in Taipei if it meant riding a scooter there. Of course it wouldn’t come to that.)

They passed the jubilant return ride to campus with a boisterous-if-jumbled rendition of Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing!” (a song with no words, actually) and hurried to pack. The trip was comfortable, if strange. The pair wondered what they'd have done if the other weren’t there. The bus that finally brought them to the airport dropped off around an obscure corner of the arrivals area, which, though somewhat comical, would have created endless confusion had they not had someone to laugh with. Funny how two together can ease so much. People just want someone else to go through things with.

I guess that's why I brought Socrates. Next we'll visit Bangkok.