Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Newark or New Erk?

I remember many years ago when I first flew into the Newark International Airport I pronounced it the way an English man would, New Ark and was promptly corrected. Since then I made sure I pronounced it the American way, New Erk.

Last Saturday when my wife and I flew into that airport again I remembered the narrow walkway we used to pass through getting out to the arrival exit gate after security check. Grinning all over was the unlikely couple, my brother and his good friend John, the way they did many times before. They always travel together. Every time I visit them they would drive 40 minutes from their house in Piscataway to receive us. My brother is hopeless in directions, just as I am. It was hilarious watching him still making mistakes getting out of the airport and had to depend on John to guide him. It had happened many times before when they took us for holidays and Tony would sometimes make a wrong turn or wait for John to signal which exit to take. I then realize Tony need John to navigate. Even with a GPS to help him, he prefers the human navigator. I remarked they are the Chinese Odd Couple because they always quarrel but never take things to heart.

The weekend stay with them was one I was very touched. John had cooked special dishes for the welcoming dinner making us feel really important. Tony's wife Mary too prepared her special wine noodle for breakfast that reminded me of home. Lunch and dinner were eaten out at Zagat rated Chinese restaurants and they refused taking my share of the cost. The hospitality showered upon us made me embarassed as we just want to be treated normally, not lavishly. We were driven to Costco, Walmart, Target, Kohl's and CVS Pharmacy to shop for our foodstuff, clothing and healthcare products.

The trip also serves as an opportunity to learn more about my brother's project which he was very passionate about. It is my hope that he will have it launched successfully soon.

Today at 11am we had to leave them to fly back to Atlanta. As the SouthWest B737 winged over Port Elizabeth container yard and flew over Newark Bay I felt New York city in the distance, recalling my first trip into Chinatown in 1985. It was like yesterday but I wonder how many more times will I make the flight in and out of Newark again.

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