Sunday, April 20, 2008

Landing in a Storm

When I flew from Hong Kong to Xian on the 16th the weather was fine. It was a bit hazy but I was still able to take photos like this one. Shatin is in the middle of the photo, with the ShingMun River flowing from top to bottom. MaOnShan at the bottom, Chinese University and the Science Park to the lower right, Kowloon in the upper left, and TsuenWan in the upper right are all clearly visible.

When I flew back from Xian on the 19th, however, it was dramatically different. Typhoon Signal number 3 was hoisted, and the weather stormy. For the last half hour before landing, we passengers had our seat belts tightened, while the plane was thrown up and down. Nobody panicked visibly. But people were talking, joking and laughing nervously. I read.

I suddenly realized there was a distinct possibility that the plane might crash in the stormy weather while landing. I started to imagine what it might be like when the plane crashes and we have to exit the plane quickly. For a split second I debated with myself whether I should try to take anything with me before going out. Then I remembered I was seating just two seats away from the emergency exit, that there was a woman seating at the emergency exit and she might not know how to open the door, that both hands have to be used, ...

I also realized that my family might realized the same and be worried. I started to pray for safety. Since I was seating at the aisle and it was raining outside, I couldn’t see where we were. Suddenly there was a bump and we had landed. People started to clap. So it was just God reminding me not to take anything for granted, and I was thankful.




3 comments:

Gilbert said...

yea, don't take it for granted...


welcome home! =)

The Cat said...

My sis-in-law's parents left HK on the same day as you returned. The turbulence was so bad that the plane suffered two sudden drops in altitude of up to 500 feet. My sis-in-law's parents said that they quite literally thought they were going to die. Her father, a 70+ year old man, was crying when he called her from their destination.

Glad to have you back!

StephenC said...

A couple of times it felt like I was floating in air. It was a little like riding in a roller coaster. I was worried - just a little bit.

Yeah, thank you all.