Nightside crossing

The guy sitting next to me on the second leg of my flight to London had already flown from Dili to Darwin, and then to Perth, and then to Singapore, after doing three 12-hour shifts on an oil rig in the Timor Sea. That’s a long commute. When he told me this I promised not to grumble about my flights, which I broke in my post on Wednesday, so sorry, Dan. (His verdict on his first stint rigging in the tropics: “didn’t like the climate and the food was shite.”)

My flight was in darkness all the way: I was a little disappointed at this until I found how astonishingly beautiful cities are from the air at night. They differ from country to country – Singapore, curving undersea creatures in sodium orange and mercury green; Afghanistan, sodium crystals; the Ukraine, a kaleidoscope of whites. Not having flown over anything but Australia before, the rest of the world looks wonderfully well-populated. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that cities are ugly. We live in jewels.

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