A Plane Spotter's Lament

It was a warm and humid June day a few weeks before Hong Kong's old Kai Tak Airport closed in 1998. I'd filed a feature for a British newspaper about the spanking new airport at Chek Lap Kok and had an afternoon free. Normally I would have gone shopping for presents, but was spared that dreadful ordeal as I'd heard about a crazed band of plane spotters who gathered at Kai Tak to watch the planes land.

On the roof of the airport parking lot I joined a hundred or so spectators and watched in awe as huge,...

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