It is July 8, 2014. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport. A family gathered to say their goodbyes in front of the international departures gate.
The family: mother- and father-in-law, three sisters- and two brothers-in-law, nephews, aunt and uncle. They were seeing off the youngest son and his wife, on a plane bound for the Greater New York area by way of South Korea.
Routine chatter passed the time while they waited for the ticket counters to open. When the counters do open youngest son and his wife checked in their four oversized bags. Flying Asiana Airlines allowed them to each check two bags. The couple rearranged the suitcases, sprawled out in front of the ticket counter. It took time to ensure distributing the weight among the bags in order to avoid baggage fees. Packing up a life of four years proved difficult. The young airport employee overlooked that one or two of the bags remained a-kilo-or-less overweight, waved them through, finally dismissing the couple. She also complimented the young woman on her Mandarin.
After the tickets and baggage, the couple returned to the family waiting outside the hall.
Aunt and Uncle shoved money towards the couple. Refusing at least three times, attempting to give it back or dodge them altogether did not suffice.
Daughter-in-law hugged her nephews and sisters-in-law. She said to her nephews to work hard in school, especially on their English. She can not remember if hugs were exchanged with her brothers-in-law. Father-in-law and daughter-in-law did not embrace.
Mother-in-law embraced daughter-in-law, tears flowing from both their eyes.
The goodbyes, she thought, happened so fast, a torrential passing summer shower of goodbyes. Her husband nudged her towards the halls’ entrance before she could bawl her eyes out, in public no less.
The couple did not look back as they took their place in line to pass through security…
Only two more days left, and tomorrow I inform you of items on my bucket list (boy, do I love writing listicles!).