Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flying high

From Turkey to Chile; August, 2005.

It was one of those crazy schedule issues where I had to be in two places, pretty much at the same time. It was not like having to go to the office downtown and also meet a client at the other side of the city, or having to attend a conference call while e-mailing a report. It was, well, like having to be in Santiago de Chile for one week, then in Usak, Turkey for the next two weeks, then back to Santiago for another week…and so I did.

I was able to find a somehow direct way of getting there, flying from Santiago to Madrid- Frankfurt-Izmir, then drive for almost 3 hours to the small town of Usak – a mining community on the Aegean sea.

After two weeks of working my way in a totally different culture, sometimes lost in translation and felt somehow second guessed just for being a foreign WOMAN trying to tell them how to do the same things they were used to perform their own way, I was ready to head back to Chile, tired, recently adjusted to the time and food difference and not really looking forward for the trip ahead; a super early 3 hour drive to Izmir, to catch a flight to Istanbul, with a 6 hour layover before continuing to Madrid and then an overseas flight to Santiago; overall, almost 2-day worth of traveling.

When I finally boarded the Istanbul-Madrid flight, it was almost 6 PM; I had a window seat and was able to see a spectacular sunset painting the whole city with a golden light; the black sea was glowing and framing the well defined shape of a radiant city. Ancient mosques and their elaborate domes contrasting with red shingled roofs, delicately being kissed by gray velvet clouds. It was the most romantic view, quiet and calming. That was the last ray of light I was going to see for a long period of time, and it was magical.

I got to Madrid to catch the red eye flight to Santiago. Luckily I had a good comfy sit to spend the next 12 hours eating, watching movies, eating again, reading and finally, sleeping…the kind of light sleep where you can hear everything yet you can’t open your eyes; my legs feeling numbed so I had to stretch and move constantly, but eyes still closed and half-consciously drifting at 36,000 feet. I lost track of time and didn’t realize I was truly sleep when I turned to my side, towards the window: the shades were open so I opened my eyes only to find the soft pink and orange colors of an early morning sun light hugging slowly the grand Andes Range – fully covered in white snow, right there, at my level, nothing in between …I could almost touch them. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and the loud sound of silence. It was the most overwhelming sensation, waking up to it…not expecting it…I couldn’t help to feel grateful. In what felt like a blink of an eye, I was lucky to see the sunset over the black sea and the sunrise across the Andes. I was moved… it marked my life for good. Right there and then I knew it: every day is different, it can bring you unexpected things, sometimes hidden in between your pet peeves or your morning pains or the longest work trip. Just be open to receive them, enjoy them while they last and keep moving towards the chance of the next small thing that will make your day… only if you want.

1 comment:

  1. Olga, esta experiencia que tuve el privilegio de escuchar directamente de ti, muy poco después de que había ocurrido no sólo te marcó a ti. A mí también me emocionó mucho cuando me la contaste y leerla en la manera precisa y delicada en la que la describiste me ha vuelto a emocionar. Estambul tu cenit y Santiago tu nadir, o visceversa. Es precioso.



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