Towards Y2K9 (1): All White

The first day of our trip to the West Coast: sitting in planes for 11 hours. We had to fly from Cologne to Amsterdam first – for some reason, the ticket that we bought didn’t allow us to take the train – we had to fly. Ok so we did. One thing that I found out about the Amsterdam airport is that they offer a meditation centre. How nice of them! Now I’ve spent many weeks of my life in meditation centres but on this day, I felt more like drinking coffee and looking at people.

The huge airbus that took us from Amsterdam to Seattle was flying right over the Dutch coast where we had spent such a nice weekend recently. Thanks again to our fabulous travel agent, Mr. Pflug from the Reisebüro Sonnenschein in Bergisch Gladbach – he knew which seats to reserve so we got a very nice view. I love flying and looking out of the window – when I can look down on this planet, travelling somewhere, I am a happy boy.

Travelling from AMS to SEA takes roughly 10 hours, and you move back through 10 time zones at the same time, so one could say that in a way, time stood still during that flight. It was late morning when we started, and it was still late morning when we arrived.

The most amazing thing was that we flew north of Iceland and right across Greenland, something that I had never done before. I had no idea what Greenland would look like – I thought it would be a featureless white desert. It really was for a while but the east coast was full of incredible mountain ranges – an alien planet without any signs of humans.

I really felt very much like a happy boy. While flying in a spaceship to alien planets will not be something I will ever experience, this was quite close. We both were in awe about the beauty of our planet. I was also awestruck how science fiction this trip was – there we sat, several miles above Greenland, heading towards the US where we would spend a hopefully nice vacation and play some concerts with my own music – thinking about it, even my recent music is very much science fiction. I listened to Robert Fripp’s Vista soundscapes while looking down on the icy scenery far below – a perfect soundtrack.

Flying over Greenland from east to west, the mountains got covered with more and more snow until there was only a white desert. All White, wasn’t there a Soft Machine track with that title?