lundi 21 août 2017

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON: A MODERN DAY TECHNOLOGICAL ENCOUNTER AT 39 000 FEET

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON: A MODERN DAY TECHNOLOGICAL ENCOUNTER AT 39 000 FEET.
The sleek Airbus 350 took off from New York JFK airport on time, now climbing over the clouds to a clear sky of a summer morning. Qatar Airways, the best Airline in the world, is renowned for its service and soon enough a flute of Billecart-Salmon champagne arrives, giving me a chance to practice Portugese with the flight attendant from Sao Paolo.
Soon, Wi-Fi on board comes on. The first few minutes of the Wi-Fi are offered Gratis; I do not wish to be connected on this 12-hour flight to Doha, a kind of disconnection from Internet as well as USA, metaphorically speaking.

Just check any messages and then shut off the computer, iPhone and concentrate on something else, away from things that remind me of my work with the Indians, my life in Cuba etc.
A message arrives. It is from Doha. It is one of my Sri Lankan friends who know I would be coming on this flight.
It said:
Doctor, could you please say hello to the person sitting in Seat 6 F. He is a well-known businessman in Sri Lanka and please give him my regards.
I am not very talkative on long flights. I went over to seat 6 F and introduced myself.
He was taken back, but said: yes I like the Sri Lankan community in Doha, but he was far more interested in talking about Cuba. His business takes him to Republica Dominicana as well as Haiti but he has great desires to visit Our Little Precious Island, Cuba!
It would be my pleasure to welcome you to Cuba. He seemed genuinely pleased.
I did not see him for the rest of the flight but towards the end of the flight, he came over to my seat and gave me his card and said:
Please let me know when you are in Colombo!

We had a pleasant chat and realized that we had many things in common.
I am sure, I will be stopping over in Colombo before the year ends!


Such an encounter would have been impossible a few years ago. Now most aircrafts have Wi-Fi and my friend was in Doha, 8 time zones away and he had sent me a message using whatsapp. I love this communicability using technology, while not too absorbed by it. Technology as a slave but not as a master.

PS I fondly thought of my Meskwakia teacher, "Dr" Pat Brown who said to me, Do not search for people, those you need to meet will come your way.