What On Earth Are We Doing?

I am high above you right now, looking down. I see one world. Its raging oceans are sheets of glass, erratically molded around the globe. Its highest mountain ranges but crumpled pieces of paper, imprecisely flattened. Its most hostile deserts are as forbidding as a pristine beach on a late summer evening. Its dark, impenetrable…

A few more days in Argentina

I have always been fascinated by maps. As a child, I would spend hours paging through my first world atlas; a book with a glossy, light blue, hardback cover whose spine weakened with each enthusiastic read. Occasionally, with a pen in my unsteady young hand, I would trace the borders between countries whose names I…

A few days in Argentina

There is a taxi driver in southern Argentina named Ernesto. We didn’t know each other until a few days ago and we will never meet again. We met when chance placed us in his taxi at El Calafate airport. On the drive into town he politely asked us to share the contents of his small…

Hopes, Fears and Egrets

It’s something I’ve done hundreds of times. Sitting in my preferred window seat, I watch as the aircraft makes a ninety degree turn, lining up with its back to the lights that will guide its return. There is a slight pause. The dull throb from the engines turns to a roar as their full power…

Delay, affray and the passenger in 2A

Abrupt U-turns are rarely an indication that something has gone exactly as intended. They are the change of direction caused by each missed turning, each botched product launch, each political policy failure. In the air, unless you’re part of an aeronautical display team or are pulling an advertising banner above a sporting event, you can…