Sri Lanka, June 20, 2006
Round, round I go, where I stop, who knows!
Walking through Hong Kong's International Airport today (or was it yesterday?), I realized that I did it again; I circumnavigated the Earth for the second time.
Do you know how I realized that milestone? Every time I fill out an embarkation card, I have to fill in my passport's place of issue, Hong Kong. It was December 1999 when I was last here, trading in my Russia-beaten passport for a new one now filled with Southeast Asia and Africa.
Then, as now I am humbled by the amazing vertical living of Hong Kong. People live in vertigo-inducing apartments, so small the plumbing is bolted on exterior walls to open up internal living space.
My own mind space first celebrated a global circumnavigation when I returned on my 25th birthday to Bali, Indonesia. Going back to my birthplace, the house I stayed in even, from distant Moscow, was the first time I made the complete circle.
This time my party was short-lived. Unlike before, there were no Wayans to celebrate with, there were no beaches to tan on, only the cold impersonal Chek Lap Kok Airport for me to shuffle through, on my multi-day, multi-country, multi-lifetime journey back to Washington DC.