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The Things About Flights

Popularity 2Viewed 2857 times 2016-4-24 23:12 |Personal category:Life|System category:Life

I have not traveled much by plane, but every time I would choose the window seat, no matter how long the flight is. Peeking out of the small window feels like a very exciting thing to me. I could stare at clouds for hours and not get bored. At night I would try to block all the lights reflecting on the window and strain my eyes to see the stars above. Each flight trip offered me something new and fascinating. 

Arriving at a city in the night or early morning feels like creeping up on it in its most vulnerable moment. I like looking at cities at night from the sky. The lights are like littering gold and pieces of diamonds. The city looks almost lifeless from above, no movement, no sound at all, so tranquil. It looks like an artwork, the main roads leading into the city like tentacles. When you are close enough, you can sometimes see cars moving with their headlights on. They follow the roads into darkness. Without the hustle and bustle of the day, you see the peaceful side of the cities, the essence. You feel people's content when they are sleeping soundly and you feel people's tiredness and anticipation to go home when they are on the road. The city will not reject you in darkness. On the contrary, when you wake up next morning, it welcomes you like a full blossom with its most authentic fragrance, and you feel like a part of it already.

When I was flying back to Shanghai from Kuala Lumpur, I deliberately selected the window seat on the right in order to see the sunrise. I had a restless sleep that night on the plane because I don't sleep well in unfamiliar places. I removed my eye masks a few times during my sleep to see if I could see stars. Luck was not with me that day. I woke up again around five in the morning and looked out of the window and was suddenly breathless by the scene outside. The crescent moon was just above the horizon, beside the wing of the plane. The horizon was a strip of dark blue, in contrast to the black clouds beneath the plane. I squeezed my eyes a few times to make them open wider and moved closer to the window until my glasses bumped against it. All the other passengers were sleeping soundly around me. I looked around and saw open mouths and some people were even snoring lightly. The plane was by no way quiet but looking at the moon and the horizon I felt as if I were alone, in a good way. Somehow I did not want anyone else to be awake. The plane glided through, but the moon remained in the same place. That blue was the most beautiful and pure blue I had ever seen. I looked and looked, as much as my tired eyes could allow, and almost wanted to break the window and reach out. I felt like a kid seeing something fantastic and amazing when all the grown-ups ignored it. In darkness I became part of the scene, entirely in wonder. I wanted that moment to stop and become a secret of mine forever. In about ten minutes, the sky became brighter considerably. Lights came on and stewardesses started moving about. The moment was gone. People sitting in my row looked out and started to take photos. I was dragged back into the human world, my connection with the scene outside completely cut off by the lights and noise. I came to understand that sometimes natural wonders can only be fully enjoyed when you are alone, because no human words or expressions could describe it.

Maybe I was amazed by these simple things because I didn't travel much and did not need my sleep desperately to be energetic for a meeting. But I like to look at things that people don't look at, and see beauty in it.

(Original work by the author Helen; first published on China Daily blog at 23:10, April 24, 2016)

About Author: Helen, currently a freelance translator in Shanghai. Loves reading and writing and everything related to languages. If you would like to forward or share this blog, please contact the author at

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2016-4-25 08:50
Thank you very much!!! we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-4-26 08:09
a view from plane is really fantastic ..
Reply Report helenriver 2016-4-26 09:44
Dracarys: a view from plane is really fantastic ..
Yes! Especially in clear days

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