Just found more notes I took on the journey here...
Next to me on the plane to Korea a middle aged Asian couple. The woman smiled at me when I pantomimed sleep since we have two free seats in our row. The woman lay down at one point and the man looked down at her sleeping for a long time. They are sitting up sleeping now, his head on her shoulder and his hand on her knee. When I lay down to sleep she helped cover my legs with my jacket.
Grace sent me off. Grace showed up at the San Francisco airport in the form of my baby cousin Bella, who bought me a copy of Middlesex in the airport bookshop for the long winter. Her dad, Chris, who had her in a papoose thing for her nap, whispered to me as he handed me over some goodies: plane socks, ballpoint pens, sharpies, ear warmers, a money belt, a passport holder, and a neck pillow. Bella’s cheek was warm and moist as only that of a sleeping baby can be, impossibly soft and saintly sticky sleeping baby cheek. Between that and the lovely sendoff my brother gave me by cell phone as I boarded the plane I went cradled and besotted by the disproportionate amount of love I was receiving all over everywhere. There are people of all ages who never get a tenth as much love.
Comfort in the visual familiarity of web pages. Ink and wine stains in my shirts. Shy nice girl who helped me buy cover-up—I can write it off as a cultural experience if I do it in another country! When I said I did not want to be away from Mom for a year she just said, It’s a new thing.
--The doll faced Seoul Airport girl who asked me “Ulaanbaatroo?” several times and handed my tickets back about to fall and out of order out of their envelope after trying to send me back to the airline desk whose employees had sent me to her—
--In the line to board I heard Mongolian for the first time since beginning my trip, guttural sounds—
-I was the only white person and th only woman in the Seoul Airport’s smoking room. All their cigarettes were long. Was the recipient of openly, affectionately bemused looks, to which I responded with a what-are-ya-gonna-do gesture. Moments like these proliferate when I travel and make me feel like a beloved daughter of the world—
Now suffering from what Bronwen calls “record-it-all syndrome.” Travel journals are all-inclusive and not sculpted.