Apr 28, 2010

When Everything is Over

April is ending, and thank God April is ending. After a very severe winter, April should bring a certain degree of warmth and comfort in the northern hemisphere. However, it isn't so this year.
Just as global economy starts pacing up promising recovery within the year, Eastern Europe was clouded by degraded dept status while transport in Western counterparts came to a total standstill fogged by a volcano eruption an ocean apart.

Things may seem a little unfair in times like this. Sometimes life gives you something nice and fancy but takes it away just before you have the opportunity to savour it. We could go on complaining how unfair life is. But things usually get better when the crowd realizes it has to start tackling the situation.
As an observer from a nation besieged neither by economy nor volcanic ash, I witnessed the most heartwarming turn of events during the enduring period where millions of passengers stranded all across the globe - Lonely Planet distributed free travel guides, electronically, airlines work together to get passengers in and out of Europe, desperate passengers carpooled all across Europe, backpacked in apartments of total strangers, and shared warm meals together.
When everything is over and everyone stranded had been sent home, travelers will look back at the helpless week and recall for once the world felt like a warm, big family. Airlines - before this fiercely competitive, never bending the rules - felt like caring parents. Reservation requests are not looked upon based on fare class and restrictive rules but by priority - elderly passengers, families with small children, students with public examinations, and young passengers traveling alone. Airports - before this extremely rigid with flight slots, open up airspace for extra flights. Airlines collaborated to have the most needy passengers leaving on the earliest possible flights, even if they're not booked with them initially. European airlines shuffle passengers between major airports, while other airlines flew in / out empty planes to get them home.
Never again will we witness such cooperative and friendly measures in our generation of captalism and competition. A plain natural disaster made all of us - Europeans, Asians, Africans, Americans, Australians, neighbors - and most of all, friends. Friends in time of need. Even though it may sound critical or materialistic, we will never achieve such without Mother Nature's intervention.
Will we remember the friendship we forged, virtually or materially, when we recall the most desperate days stranded in a place you shouldn't be in times to come? Please do, as for once at least, we were uncalculative, equal friends.


Chen Yi said...

very well written :) it's indeed heart-warming to witness the unity and collaboration among all that chaos!