Sunday, November 30, 2008

The airplane that becomes a clock

When life was in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, airplanes were molesting peaceful living.

Very near the city is the international airport called Schiphol.
It is one of the busiest in Europe.

When the wind is from the east, the smaller planes, like Boeing 737’s, are landing flying right over the city centre.
At very low altitudes.
Making tremendous noise.

Of course the people that live in the city centre are very much annoyed by this.
They are afraid one day a plane may crash on their houses.
They are annoyed and irritated by the noise.
And worried by the pollution: kerosene can be smelled.

But not much can the people do.
The Government has a telephone number available people can call to complain.
But that is only to take pressure away from the suffering people.
Nothing is actually done with the complaints.
The economic stakes are too high for the business people and politicians to care about the well being of the people.

This problem with low over flying airplanes molesting existence in Amsterdam, the Netherlands was one major disadvantage of living there.

It made every citizen go through a lot of fear, irritation and annoyance.

Now, in the dry riverbed called Punta Boca del Salado in Baja California, Mexico, every afternoon at around 2.30 a plane comes from the east to land at nearby San Jose del Cabo’s airport.

And interestingly, this plane is never experienced as annoying or irritating.
To the contrary.
When the sound of the airplane is heard, the mind thinks: it is 2.30.
The plane becomes a clock.
The sound is now one of the nice aspects of being here.
Part of feeling at home.
Something one can trust is there.

In Amsterdam there were hundreds of planes passing over in a day when the wind was from the east.
At Punta Boca del Salado it is only one.
Making the difference between love and hate.

No comments: