Friday, April 6, 2012

The Shortest Birthday

China Airlines Airbus A340
It’s just after midnight, and I’m sitting in a VIP lounge at Vancouver International Airport. A China Airlines Airbus A340 is sitting at Gate D65, and in a few hours I’ll settle into seat 5K in the plane’s business class cabin for the 13 hour flight to Taipei.
It’s also my birthday, as the clock has now ticked over to April 6th. I have a glass of cold Coca Cola next to me, which to some is the equivalent of a nice glass of merlot or chardonnay. There was no cake, so I settled on a couple of cookies to mark the occasion. This will be the shortest birthday I’ll have. My flight leaves at 2:00, and once I cross the International Date Line, the day will turn over to the 7th of April.
My good pilot friend tells me that it should take about five-and-a-half hours to reach the Date Line from Vancouver. With that bit of knowledge, my birthday will last for less than eight hours. I suppose it’s better than those born on a February 29, who would only see their birthday every four years.
It was two years ago on my birthday that I was also sitting in an airport VIP lounge (come to think of it what a nice tradition I’ve started, and one that I’m sure my wife would like to be a part of). Then, I was in Tel Aviv waiting for a flight to Vancouver. And because I was flying west (and not crossing the International Date Line), my birthday lasted some 34 hours.   
Most anyone would love for the opportunity to fly business class, and so for however long my birthday lasts this year, I’ll savour the experience.

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