NG SUK-YIN Virginia


october 15


As we climbed up the Effigy Mounds on 15 Oct, I told Marc of the IWP program that as small kids, we loved going to the old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong to study after school. Why? Because summers in Hong Kong were notoriously hot and humid and few families could afford air-conditioning at home. So we packed our books, brought water and bread, and off we went to the heavily air-conditioned arrival lounge in the airport to study for our exams. Another wonderful “study room” of ours was the Ocean Terminal where cruise liners berthed. We loved sitting on the floor of the arrival hall, books laid open, while our eyes followed the graceful movements of affluent, luggage-dragging tourists from Europe and America in their leisure outfits, chatting in exotic languages that sounded like Heaven-speak. Then there was this mesmerising aroma of fresh coffee from the “Brazil” cafe on the second floor of the terminal where movie makers, trend-setters, artists and writers schmoozed. All this was of course off limits to us. Still, the airport and the cruise terminal gave us the taste of a cool, parallel universe.


Marc listened and asked, “Have you written about it?” I said no. And then recalled in fact I have, but only briefly in my weekly column. I was surprised that someone in faraway Iowa should be interested. May be it’s time to give wings to these buried memories for adventure in distant lands.



Oct 18, 2016, Iowa