It wasn’t until we landed and the plane continued to rock from side to side that I realised this was no ordinary landing. A couple of days later, in Xiamen I learnt that there had been a tropical storm on the day I landed.
So I hadn’t exaggerated the extent of the turbulence on our descent to Chinese soil. The thing is, I wasn’t alone, it seemed to me that all my fellow passengers were in the grip of that stomach in mouth feeling you get when the plane suddenly plunges then rocks from side to side. Eyes were closed, heads on the back of the seat in front and those unconscious yelps of surprise as you are buffeted from side to side, were heard.
I found myself gripping the hand of my fellow passenger, a native of Quanzhou who had been on a shopping trip to Singapore. Although she spoke no English and I a smattering of Mandarin, with the help of a translation app we had connected while waiting for the flight at Changi Airport. Somethings in life are universal like shared terror during a turbulent landing.
We made it through and said our goodbyes at the airport. The next day, my body was still feeling airborne and unbalanced. I found a lovely nature park near my hotel and started to explore, grounding myself in Chinese soil.
I thought of that great philosopher Lao Tzu, who had lived in this city
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes; don’t resist them, that way only leads to sorrow. Let reality be reality,let things flow forward in whatever way they like”
Restored after finding balance, I was ready for the next step of my journey.