I woke up and had no idea what time it was.

Light was up, people were watching movies, listening to music or talking to their partner. I stood up to walk to the bathroom, and on my way back spotted somebody with a tray of food. Was I sleeping that long? Did they already serve the meal?

I started walking the block of economy class seats at the back of the plane, from my seat above the wings, and saw the girls setting things on the wagons in the back. These days, economy class has a section in the back of the plane where you can just go and help yourself to the drinks, snacks, etc. I didn’t need a meal – I just wanted some snack and water, and that would do me.

Then almost two thirds of my way down that block walking to the tail of the plane I realised there was nobody with food tray or even drinks. Maybe it was just somebody with special requirement who got heirs early. So that means I did not sleep that much?

When was the last time I flew without a watch on? Disorientating as it may be, I think this is what I needed. I just did not want the Skagen’s smooth metal scratching my wrist for the next 20 hours till I got home in Osaka. But am I glad I came on without a watch. My phone’s been switched off before I got on board – although it seems this plane’s high tech entertainment system seems to allow you to connect your iPod (hence iPhone as well, obviously) to connect with it – and do what, I don’t know. Use your own headphones, or control your iPod on a large screen? Seems almost pointless. Hmm… but I don’t really care.

I have been feeling I was badly off balance lately. My visualisation of that is like a small globe on a spindle. It is supposed to be spinning in one place, no weaving, no tilting off centre. But me, that pale blue-green round thing is being affected too much to gravity somewhere else and keep losing balance. It has lost its peace. It is losing the direction. And it was a rough ride. While rollercoaster ride has its appeal, this was not all joy. I needed to bring me back to centre of my universe again. And start taking a step forward from there.

So it is a good time to get away.

My work was not going well for some time. I kept holding up stuff I should have delivered ages ago. I could not concentrate. I have my good, justifiable reasons, the fact that everything else also kept falling apart – colleague departed and needed to train a new person, external project got badly delayed and I needed to do my bit when I had planned to do something else. That sort of thing. But I know, it was not just that. I was not focusing.

On the day before yesterday, I was in the office till close to 9pm, which I haven’t done for a long time. The next morning I was in office at 6:30, opting to drive in to save the time waiting for train. I missed the end-of-year speech by the CEO and presentation of staff awards (not that I was gonna get anything but would be nice to support the team), and I got to the Christmas drinks an hour late. All for not being in the centre. I was rushing, spinning my wheels, but there was not traction and I was just wasting energy without moving forward.

It’s been over 5 hours stuck in the economy class seat that is way too small for an adult. I walked and stretched, but the stiffness on the lower back from this poorly shaped seat is not going away. In a few hours this will be over, at least for the transit. Hong Kong. I figured it would give me just enough time to grab a bus to get into town, sit in an old Yum Cha joint and read while sipping some tea, but now it seems I ought to assist my new colleague back in office. The hand over of the task was poor. Sure, it was supposed to come much earlier when I could demonstrate, check and clear before it’s done, instead of coming into my inbox after I’d left. Still, it is my work she’ll be covering for me, and I owe her that much. Hong Kong can wait – I’ll have another weekend in January with absolutely no idea what to do with in Hong Kong. Then you’ll find me sitting with an old local uncle, sipping tea, reading paper and dosing off… until the next serve of dumplings come around with the sweet smell of freshly steamed food from that wagon.

Sunrise at Hong Kong departure terminal
Sunrise at Hong Kong departure terminal