Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little Differences, Part 4: Saber Rattles / San Francisco, USA

I was sitting in the grass on Union Square. My head was almost empty and I felt wonderfully tired while watching the busy people around me.

I can imagine several ways of being wakened from this nice stand-by-mode.
There are nice ones, mediocre ones and nasty awakenings.

The nice interruptions include the scent of fresh coffee or a lovely voice whispering cute words into my ear.
Mediocre wake-up procedures include voices like 'Sorry Sir, you are standing on my foot for 5 minutes' or the sound of the leaving bus you just missed.
The awful ones definitely include the roaring thunder of fighter jets raging over your head in such a low altitude that you could think 'Maverick' out of the old movie 'Top Gun' finally decided to commit suicide because he killed his friend 'Goose' (or just because he didn't manage to drag the cute Kelly McGillis into his bed).

Guess what - lucky me got the nasty one.

The fighters circled directly above the heart of San Francisco and their engines screamed 'Good morning McFly, somebody home?' into my ears. Aaargh!
First I thought that another 9/11 situation was going on. I was really scared for some seconds. Then I watched around and saw some of the passers-by grin and even clap their hands.

I asked them what the fuzz is about and they told me that it is just a rehearsal for the annual flight day in the near future.

They practice 50 meters above a big city? They practice flying so close to each other that one pilot could count the hairs in the nose of his pal? Gosh. Yes, I know the noses of the pilots are covered with oxygen masks but I like idea, though.

In Germany there would never ever be such a pseudo-masculine demonstration of power right above the heart of a metropolis. Apart of it I still can remember the big air show accident some years ago in the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany.
We have a completely different relationship to our army 'Bundeswehr'.

Probably I am full of prejudices about military in the US. Maybe after 9/11 it is good for a wounded nation to see that the big boys are taking care of the citizens.

In the end it was just one of the little differences I noticed.
Keep it as a secret but I have to admit it looked damn cool.

I could imagine the pilots leaving their planes in this Hollywood-movie-slow-motion kind of walking. I hope the pilots didn't spoil their coolness with statements like 'Icemen you are not bad up in the air but you should shave your nose'.

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