Not The Right Time
‘Take off your shoes, and your belt!’
I was totally overwhelmed by the order. The overweight Caucasian gentleman in front of me followed that obediently, so he had to hold his pants with hands. We all knew they had guns.
I was running out of time there. If failed, the next 24 hours would be extremely terrible. I meant, I might need to stay overnight in Bangkok’s international airport waiting for next available flight to Chengtu. My wristwatch from Singapore told me only 20 minutes left to the scheduled take-off. I worriedly rushed to the appointed departure gate, without tying up my shoelaces properly. It was closed.
There was a thought flashing through my mind: break in and catch up. In seconds I calmed down with cold sweat and felt breezes from the central air-conditioning. I stood still and looked up to the high ceiling, to sigh and accept my wrong decision on Bangkok stopover. At the very moment I saw a giant wall clock reading 8:55, while my watch was ticking 9:55.
In the world map from my memory, Singapore, Bangkok and Chengtu should be located within the same time zone UTC+07:00 geographically. I was right about the fact, but forgot that Singapore and Chengtu officially moved an hour forward years ago for historical standardisation reasons.
This unusual one hour difference for same longitudes made me feel stupid. Nevertheless, I was not late for my flight! So I bought a copy of latest Scientific American in airport bookshop, and sat down quietly waiting for the real take-off.