The First Journey to a New Beginning.
“Here you are Sir, have a nice flight,” said the smartly dressed woman with a foreign accent similar to that of women in Hollywood movies. She even looked similar to them in her neatly ironed skirt and matching blouse. Her hair pulled back in a bun and her heels elevated her good few inches from the ground. Everything about her looked attractive apart from her smile, which she forced on her face as she greeted each passenger. As she handed back my passport, ticket and boarding pass after checking them against something on the screen in front of her, I looked around the waiting lounge. It was the last time I would see it for a very long time. I turned round and for a minute just took one last glance of the place I was leaving behind. My eyes moved from one corner of the airport lounge to the other. From the people scattered around the lounge, to the children running about, to the empty chair behind the information desk before finally resting my gaze on the tiny teashop in the corner where I had just sat and drank water to calm my nerves. This was going to be my last memory in Vietnam.
I clenched my passport tight and started walking towards the gate, and towards the American Dream depicted in the poster of Texas I had just seen in the lounge. Though, there was an eerie excitement about going to America for a better future but it was mixed with the grief of leaving my home, my family and friends. There was also the anxiety of being accepted in a new country and making a life for myself. In spite of all this, the excitement of flying for the first time was my main focus at the time. After walking down two flights of stairs and spending ten minutes waiting for a bus, which drove our group to the plane where after climbing another long flight of steps, I heard another foreign accented voice.
“Welcome Sir, seat number 89A this way,” ushered the air hostess greeting me inside the plane and stretching her neck to see the boarding pass, I was clutching tightly. She gestured me to follow the large group of women with children down the right hand side of the airplane. This would be my first time going somewhere in the airplane. Though I had been inside one before on a middle school field trip to the Hanoi aircraft museum, I had never flown in one before. Hence, this would be my first time. The inside of this airplane was much bigger and more like those I had seen in the movies and less like the ones in the museum. I had always wanted to fly, and experience being in the air and wondered what it would feel like.
I followed the group of women in front of me down a narrow passageway and looked at the people around me. A mother was cradling her wailing child in her arms and the father was making childish faces accompanied by similar noises to distract his child from the crying. Another man was trying to lift his heavy suitcase and putting it in the overhead compartment, just like men in American movies did. However, it...